Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Things are looking very good for our little family and our new home. There are only two things that now bar the way and one of them needs to happen. I need to find a job by the 12th of April or our house needs to sell. There have been so many obstacles along this path and through faith and prayer the Lord has provided away around, through or over each one. This is the only one that stands.

I will be honest, the prospect of getting a job after a decade of full time mothering is NOT appealing to me. I really would rather SELL THIS HOUSE!

But I will do it because this new home will be worth it. So if you know of a job that would be awesome for seamstress with wicked cool public speaking and customer service skills and can help me pay a mortgage please hook me up!

Monday, March 29, 2010

In Walked Grace Kelly

Remember how I likened buying that house to being engaged to Cary Grant? Well, this weekend Grace Kelly showed up. Not only that but Eva Marie Saint and Ingrid Bergman are threatening to join her. I am channelling the scrappy little French girl and am going to fight to the end. This time Grace Kelly won't win.

Please send your prayers and good wishes, we will need them. Hopefully I will have some good news by the end of April.

P.S. Someone PLEASE buy my house!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why I Steam Tablecloths with a Smile on My Face

I helped with a wedding this weekend. It was just what I needed to get out of the house as I have been sitting at home in a funk for weeks. I had so much fun chatting in the kitchen while we prepared food. Decorating for a wedding is SO much fun especially when you don't have the stress of it being a wedding that you are a part of. Actually, the fact that I barely know the bride made it better. My favorite task was making up a basket of food for the bride and groom to take with them to the hotel.

What I wanted to write about was this:
I was thanked profusely for my help. While I am glad that my helping hands weren't taken for granted I felt very uncomfortable with all of the thanks because it seemed so unnecessary.

I helped because I love my sisters.

To all of the women in my circle, you are my mothers, my sisters, my aunts, my cousins, my friends. Helping you isn't a chore or even a duty on my part it is something I want to do and don't even think twice about. You are my family. That's what families do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The First Iconic Ride of the Year

I took Liberty Bell out this afternoon for a ride. Spring has been here for several weeks, the violets are spent, the tulip trees have dropped their flowers and the daffodils are staring to look a little sad but there were still some amazing blossoms.
While I was taking a water break I saw those big, fat fuzzy bumblebees in this plum tree. I rummaged in my basket for my camera but by the time I got it out they had moved on to another tree. I did get this great shot of a honey bee though.I eagerly await this every year. Two of our neighbors have these Double Flowering Cherry Trees. There are one or two days when they are fully bloomed before the blossoms start falling and they are breathtaking. I take a picture every year.

Friday, March 19, 2010

You Should Be So Lucky

My dear friend Sarah is holding a contest on her photography blog Smiling Eyes Photography.
You may remember Sarah from such awesome pictures as this:

and this:

You could win a free photo shoot with her! Enter here

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Something Like the Victoria Cross Please

Wednesday Boba Fett wanted to go to the duck pond to feed the ducks. I had a little insider information, namely, the parks district had stocked the pond with trout on Monday. So, I surprised the kids with an impromptu fishing trip. Boba Fett was ecstatic that he was having "My first time fishing!"
BG down at G.I. Joes helped us get all rigged up and off we went. We didn't catch anything (for which I will be eternally grateful), in fact we barely figured out how to cast but we had a good time.

I. Took. My. Kids. Fishing. Alone. Voluntarily.

"What do you want, a medal? " my mom asked after I told the 5th time what I had done.

"Yes, I do!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The New Look

First there was Dior with the "New Look" fitted jacket, nipped in waist and a full skirt.
The New Look marked an abrupt change in fashion and one of my personal favorite periods in costume.
Now we have Nutmeg with the "New New Look"
The New New Look is delicate, whimsical and practical.
Mussy self cropped hair, leotards, pastel colors, tulle, tights, mid-thigh tutus, and mid-calf galoshes; get yours today!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm a Copy Cat and I Don't Care

I saw this post yesterday and hastened myself to Joann because I needed a centerpiece for the table so that I can stop buying so many fresh flowers, and because I am mad about ranunculus.

Not angry mad but crazy mad.

I didn't even know that ranunculus existed until last spring when I saw them Home Depot. I thought that they were lovely that I bought a bag and planted them. They never came up, happily, the silk flowers look as good as the real thing.

Not only did I find ranunculus but I found the exact plants that Samster Mommy used in her box. Usually I try to make things my own but I love the freshness of this color. May these words never come from my fingers again; but, good thing Joann has the same stuff all over the country.
Super easy, the cost was about $15 which is more than I would have liked but the tiny basket was $5. Seriously Joann, I know that basket cost like 25 cents to make.

Nutmeg helped, in fact Nutmeg did most of it, she was a real tyrant and barely let me do anything but trim the stems.
She is pretty proud.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't Waffle, GO!

There is always a queue at The Waffle Window

I really have to give a shout out to Amy Karol over at Angry Chicken. I don't know her, I am just one of many that read her blog, the difference is that I too live in Portland. Amy often blogs about local places, so when she mentions a place I can actually check it out. This December, Amy posted about the Happy Sparrow Cafe and I packed up the kids that very afternoon for an impromptu outing and experienced kaloche.
Last week she mentioned The Waffle Window and the kids and I headed over to their website and started drooling. After that the kids asked 3-4 times a day when we would be going to "Waffle Windows." Well Camrock and Nutmeg did, Boba Fett insisted that he wanted NOTHING to do with waffles no matter what type of exit they were procured from.
Camrock eagerly anticipating waffles, his favorite food

Saturday, we were exiled from our home so we made a trip to the "Eastside" to sample some waffle delights, Boba Fett declared his discontent the entire way.
Boba Fett doesn't want waffles and orders 2 slices of Bacon instead.

We walked up to the window and ordered. It was a sunny but windy day so we were happy that there was "Waffle Window Seating" inside Bread and Ink Cafe in addition to the outdoor seating. Bread and Ink Cafe is VERY Portland so you can expect to expose your children to lots of tattoos, piercings and alternative lifestyles when visiting.

O.K., so, these waffles are Liège Waffles which are a Belgian thing and have a coating of something called "pearl sugar." I am not sure of the details but it seemed to me like a hard glaze. All of the waffles have the glaze and then toppings are added on top. The Whole Farm

I wanted to try a savory waffle so I went big and got "The Whole Farm" which is also the most expensive item on the menu at $5. It was delicious but if I were to do it again I would ask for less spinach and fewer mushrooms they were a bit much for me but the chevre was perfect. Now remember all of this was on top of a sweet waffle. It was the perfect combination. "Incroyable, je sais!"
I am looking forward to trying the 3 B's (Bacon, Brie and Basil) or a Seasonal Jam and Panna Cotta Waffle.
Nutmeg and Camrock each ordered the Chocolate Dipped Waffle ($2.50.) I think these were the best of what we ordered. They were served cold so you could easily buy one and take it home for a midnight snack.
Moose ordered the Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich ($3.50) It was huge and according to the rest of my family GREAT. I am not an ice cream fan so I refrained. Moose said that it is big so you should share it. Boba Fett and Nutmeg are planning on doing that next time. Yes, there will be a next time and Boba Fett is now The Waffle Window's biggest fan.

You can visit The Waffle Window the next time you are in the Hawthorne Neighborhood shopping for vintage or catching a movie at The Bagdad.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Night Cinema

This week: Room for One More
Starring: Cary Grant and Betsy Drake also George Winslow
Director: Norman Taurog
Date: 1952

This movie was hard to find, I have been hoping to see it for years. Luckily it was released on DVD last year and my library got a copy of it early this year which was great news for me because I loved it. "Delightful" is an appropriate adjective for this movie. I am thinking about purchasing this movie I because I want my kids to internalize the messages.

"Room for One More" is saccharine sweet but Cary Grant manages to balance it out with his characteristic delivery. The youngest child "Teenie" is played by George Winslow, the ordinary looking little boy with the "froggy bass voice."
Betsy Drake was married to Cary Grant at the time so it is interesting to watch their interaction.

This movie exemplifies 1952 America. I am surprised that there wasn't an apple pie served.

Anne Rose has a big heart and is always taking in strays, one day the "stray" is a troubled girl from the orphanage, then it is a handicapped boy. Anne and "Poppy" show incredible patience and insight and help these two children become well adjusted young people as well as continue to raise their own three children.

What I loved about this is that they were not afraid to let the children fail.

There is an unabashed plug for the Foster care system as well as what might have well been an advertisement for the Boy Scouts of America including an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Cary Grant explains the birds and the bees to "Jimmy John" in a scene that explains everything and nothing all at once and another scene where a litter of kittens is actually being born.

There is another scene which I can't mention here because this is a family blog but when you watch the movie you will get it but the kids won't. Hilarious.

Based on the foster care and Boy Scouts of America I have a feeling that my Hanna friends are going to give this a huge thumbs up.

As for me I give it 6 out of 7 thimbles which is very, very good.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Like Being Engaged to Cary Grant

When discussing my obsession (otherwise known as the fabulous house on which we have an offer accepted) I keep saying to my friends "I don't deserve that house" and they always come back with an enthusiastic "Yes, you do!" While it is very gratifying to know that all of my acquaintances are certain that I deserve the best house in town, I think that I am not expressing my feelings correctly. What I think I really mean is that it is too good to be true. An illustration, if you will:
It's like you are an ordinary girl and you somehow find yourself engaged to Cary Grant. You aren't quite sure how it happened but there is a ring on your finger and Cary Grant keeps hanging around, making eyes at you, declaring his love etc. You discuss things like guest lists and honeymoon destinations. It really looks like you are going to marry Cary Grant but you can't quite figure out how you managed to hit the jackpot. You feel a bit wary because how could Cary Grant even notice you let alone pick you out of all the stars in Hollywood? It just feels to good to be true and you are really afraid that Grace Kelly is going to show up and change his mind.

That is how I feel about the house, incredibly grateful, lucky and wary. Suspicion?

I realize that my story is preposterous because as everyone knows, Cary Grant wouldn't wait for a wedding, he would elope.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

3 Mildly Entertaining Films

I have been listening to Atlas Shrugged on the iPod, it is around 63 hours or so. Listening to so much obejectivism and drooling over Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d'Anconia combined with putting our house up for sale hasn't left much time for movie watching, however; last weekend I watched a few flicks. They were...okay. I don't know that they were well done, two of them were low budget films and only one was mildly exciting. But they all made me think.
The first was "Arranged," a sleepy film about an Orthodox Jewish girl and a Muslim girl who are teachers in the same school. They find that they have a lot in common not the least of which being that they are both expecting arranged marriages.

I liked this film because I definitely see the wisdom in arranged marriages, and this movie didn't make them look weird just different. The acting was okay in some spots and bad in others. Obviously, a low budget film but not painful to watch like "Fireproof" (which I loved but can't stand to watch because of the poor acting.)
The second was "War Bride," again low budget and kind of sleepy.
Mostly I was confused?
What was the mother doing upstairs while she was crying and looking at her wedding picture? I don't think I want to know. What did she put in the little tin and then bury on her husband's grave? Why? What did any of this have to do with the film? Do Lily and Charlie ever discuss "Joe?" Why was Charlie so messed up after the war?? Yeah, yeah, PTSD but why? Why is Sophie going back to London? Are you trying to tell me that the family lavishes her with kindness and furs and then kicks her to the curb when her husband is killed?

None of these things are explained. Usually when a movie has gaping holes like this it means it was adapted from a book. As far as I can tell this is not, so those questions - just wasted celluloid.

A movie about a war bride could have been better. A war bride is a great plot device how can you ruin that?

The last was the BBC's production of "The 39 Steps" an adaptation of the book by John Buchan. You may remember that Hitchcock's The 39 Steps is one of my favorite movies and I was hoping for a modern remake. I was disappointed.
The most exciting part of this movie was when Rupert Penry-Jones took his shirt off and that WAS exciting. Can I just ask, if they had to go with a Blond James Bond couldn't they have chosen Rupert Penry-Jones instead of that blue collar worker they put in a tux and handed and Aston Martin?

Hitchcock always called North by Northwest the American version of The 39 Steps.

So what is this?

The British version of North by Northwest?

If so they didn't do a very good job. As much as I love Hitchcock's The 39 Steps I have to admit that North by Northwest is a better movie so it was an improvement on The 39 Steps. The BBC's The 39 Steps is in no way better than North by Northwest or even Hitchcock's The 39 Steps.

I would have thought that the BBC wouldn't tackle a remake unless they could do it better OR stay faithful to the book. They did neither. Bad form.

Just a handful of thimbles out of a possible 21 for all 3 films.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Why I am a Bore at Parties

It really bugs me when bloggers start a post with "Sorry, I haven't posted lately but I have been really busy blah, blah, blah." Just know that as I proceed with this post because the next words are: Sorry, I haven't posted lately but I have been so busy obsessing over the house we put an offer on.

I am sure that you think I exaggerate when I say obsessing, but I assure you that I am not. Obsessing is exactly what I have been doing. Ask any of my acquaintances and they will confirm that the only thing I talk about is the prospective house and that eventually I end up steering any conversation in that direction.

I know, I know, I am a bore.

I am just so excited and it seems to good to be true. It is so me. The house was built in 1950, updated in the 80's, has loads of charm and is in excellent condition. It is big and it has a ...wait for it...basement. A basement. In Portland. Oh, and it is in our church ward which is the number one requirement for our new home.

The offer has been put in and has been accepted but it is a short sale and if you know anything about the real estate market these days, a short sale is no picnic, takes eons to complete and isn't a sure thing until the papers are signed and the keys have changed hands.

Friends of mine who are also friends of the current owners tell me that the current owners are delightful and hope that the next owners will be a good family. I hope we are good enough! If pre-owner obsession is any indication of fitness for this house then I am qualified!

But the real reason I haven't blogged about this is that if I blog it, it makes it real, and there are witnesses. What if it all falls apart? Then I will have a permanent cyber-reminder of the house I fell in love with and lost. And it will be there forever reminding me and others of what could have been. I really truly thought about not blogging about it until the keys were in hand, but that isn't like me is it?

Look, I did it again. It's all about me and this house. Let's just pray that we can close this deal and I can stop annoying everyone with the trials and tribulations of my new house obsession.

P.S. Our house is still for sale and we REALLY need it to sell, fast. We also lowered the price. So if you know anyone who needs a 4 bedroom in the Bethany area at a great price please message me and I will send you a link.

P. P. S. I have not been stalking the house. I only drive by it if it is on my way somewhere which isn't nearly as often as I might hope.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

El Hombre de Leche

The milkman and I have an understanding. I leave the bottles, order slip and check in the cooler and he leaves me milk. We do not communicate or have any interaction. If I see him walking to the door I go to another room so we won't have any accidental eye contact.

Today I saw him park in front of the house and realized I hadn't put the check into the cooler so I ran out to give it to him. I had to awkwardly say words to him about him needing a check. A few moments later there was a knock on the door. It was the milkman. I left two slips in the cooler which one did I want? I attempted to communicate that I wanted the order on the blue slip. He nodded and I closed the door wondering why I suddenly lost the ability to speak the words in my head. I was flustered. Then I realized I had made a mistake when filling out the order form and I had to go talk to the milk man. Again.

"I didn't want that much milk, I wrote it wrong." I blurted out. "I didn't give you enough money for that" pointing to a half gallon bottle.

"You can pay me next week." he says

"No," I had to explain "We have too much milk already." Thinking of the 3 unopened bottles in my fridge rapidly on their way to spoiling.

"Oh. OK." He hoisted up the crate of empties and the offending bottle and walked away.

He probably thinks I am not very smart.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

20 Things to Keep Your Children Busy

Today we were exiled from our house for a few hours so the kids and I made a list and had a photo scavenger hunt. It was pretty cute watching them roam around with a camera.A crocodile
A light bulb
A box
The number 9Something that costs $4
A baby (Comment "We had to take this one from far away.")
An Eagle
A yellow sign
A mushroom
A tree
A Toyota
A pink bathtub
or sink (there was in fact an entire row of pink sinks)
Something with wheels
another mushroom
An American flag
A red arrow
A blue bird
And a pink Cadillac (this wasn't on the list but we HAD to take a picture!)