Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Own Private Buffalo

I want a buffalo ranch, I want to wake up to the sight of a herd of bison running across the field. They move as one across the landscape. I think buffalo are beautiful and even more beautiful as a herd.

As this is a goal unlikely to be fulfilled I present to you a buffalo of my own.
Made with Celluclay (a fancy paper mache,) by me, every single bump. My mom refused to help. I am glad she did.

My dad suggested I give him to the Gardners (friends of ours who have a buffalo ranch) I refused flatly pointing out that they have their own bison and unless they were willing to consider an even exchange my buffalo for one of theirs they can settle for a picture.

Shall we have a contest? What to name my buffalo. Leave your suggestion in the comments. The winner gets bragging rights!

A Trip To Remember

There is snow and Portland and you know what that means, hijinks!

But let's go back to the beginning. We woke up with a start at 7:38 am MST. "No," I screamed inwardly, "It can't be time to get up yet!" I got up, padded through my parent's house to find another clock to confirm. Drat. Not only was it time to get up, we were late. So I forced Moose out of bed and we loaded up and were on the road at 8:40 MST.

At 11:40 am PST were arriving in Spokane for lunch, gas and a chat with our cousins. I pulled out my purse and found that the small bottle of coconut oil I keep as a moisturizer had melted into liquid thanks to Moose's attempt to keep me warm by roasting me with the car heater. I set it on top of the car to cool down while we ate.
At 12:40 we were on the road again headed for Portland or bust. I stopped a little short behind a bus and my coconut oil went flying off the car. We laughed hysterically and Moose retrieved it. We thought "Boy, will we remember this tip as the time I left the coconut oil on top of the car!" Cute.
At Tri-cities I was very sleepy so I stopped for more gas and to let Moose drive and wash the windows. Oh, yeah did I mention that our windshield wiper fluid was frozen until Hood River?

Since our cell phones don't work in Montana we had forgotten to charge them before we left. I had no power and Moose had one tiny bar. If only we had remembered to charge them up, we might have received some of the warning calls.
So at 4:30 we are getting a little excited, there looked like rain up ahead but there was just a little more than an hour left of the drive and there was a house fire in The Dalles visible from the road, surely it would be big news on the TV tonight. Around Hood River we hit snow. It was bad for Oregon and I was afraid they would close the road for the 2 inches of snow. The road wasn't closed and at 5:30 I thought to call La Keira to see about snow in Portland. Yes, there was a little snow on the ground about and inch. I guess she hadn't listened to the news.

We came into Portland still excited about our quick trip and being home for a reasonable dinner. Then we realized, it is 6 pm rush hour, in Portland, in a snowstorm. An hour later we had made it to the Lloyd Center Exit and had dinner at Red Robin. Everything was packed like a parking lot and 26 was closed, there isn't really an alternate route. We watched the snow fall in huge clumps and discussed the irony of driving 1,400 miles to Montana and back with no snow only to be snowed in at the Red Robin 10 miles from our house.

At 8:15, our bellies full we piled back into the car for another hour and fifteen minutes of inching our way home the remaining 10 miles. Really, waiting it out at Red Robin was genius even though we didn't get home until 9:30 pm PST, I don't think it would have been any faster had we stayed our course on the freeway, and we would have been hungry, cranky and have exploded bladders.

Blessings: We were prepared for a long trip, most people were just out in town and blindsided by the storm and didn't get home for hours and we had TONS of weight being loaded up with all the spoils of Christmas.

Boba Fett put it best. "When it snows in Portland people lose their minds." It wasn't the snow that was the problem it is the complete lack of ability to drive in snow AND the fact that there are only a few major roads in and out of Portland. There isn't anyway around it you have to go through it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ice Ballerinas

Skating at the Woodland Park skating rink wasn't quite the same as skating at the old Woodland Park pond. I missed the dark, smoky warming hut with ancient grafitti carved by ice skate blades and risking my life to get down the hill to the lumpy and bumpy pond that may or may not be frozen solid. Not one crazy boy climbed to the top of the hill and skated down the hill to land on the ice at great speed.
But there was an Ice Machine which Dad called a "Zambomi" but it was a Honda not a Zamboni. That was cool. You see, it was too warm to skate on the pond and the rink had skates for rent!It could have been a disaster, 3 children and 3 adults only two of them skaters and it was bit overwhelming at the beginning.
But Moose picked it up immediately,
Commander C was determined to figure it out himself,

Boba Fett was aided by the "walker."
Nutmeg refused help so we followed along behind her. Everyone was skating on their own before we left for the day.
Nutmeg liked skating between two people so she could do tricks like the above. She now wants to be an "Ice Ballerina."Grandma skated as hard as anyone and I couldn't have handled 3 kids on the ice without her. We did spins together and she taught me how to spin around while skating backwards. There were races, and cash prizes from Grandpa.
Moose and I skated several laps holding hands and even kissed. Which was fun but not as memorable as my first kiss, which happened behind the Woodland Park warming hut.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Scenes from a Chistmas Eve

Boba Fett filming my first music video. He looked like a natural with his wild hair behind the camera and the silent thumbs up he gave.
The kids wearing the Rudolph noses Aunt Jmo sent before spreading reindeer food on the snow.
The gigantic Christmas box we filled and dropped on the doorstep of a needy family.
Cindy Lou Who waiting for the Grinchy Claus.
The best part was listening to a wonderful story my dad recorded.
Finished off the night telling the Nativity story to my daughter after putting calming essential oils on her feet.
To help her fall asleep fast.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowman Slaughterhouse

Commander C has been reading A LOT of Calvin and Hobbes and plotting.
I found this in his suitcase:
(C.Z.G. Montana list for SNOW!)
(Build Snow Castle, Make a snowman with dad, Head butt it on the deck, Make a snowman with umbrella if it rains, make snow cannon with ammo, Make 2 armies of tiny snowman, Make a fort with 25 snowballs, Kill a snowman *evil face*, Snowfight with brother *cunning face*, Ambush Dad)

If only it would snow instead of rain!

Matching Stockings: A Cautionary Tale

In 1959 my mother and father in law started a family. 4 little girls arrived in quick succession and a matching set of Christmas stockings was purchased. Then Moose showed up in 1977 and a matching stocking could not be found and so a stocking was made at a department store. And he was scarred for life, every Christmas the toe pointing in the wrong direction and the glittered name reminded him that he was the caboose. Scarred for 30 years.
And then his fabulous wife made him a reproduction stocking. She also made matching stockings for herself and the children so no one would be left out.
So, let this be a lesson to all the mothers out there who have a set of matching stockings and haven't go around to getting one for the "baby" of the family. Either commit matching or let everyone have different stocking, because you can't guarantee that they will marry someone crafty.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

You Don't think I am the Kind of Girl That Would Throw Herself at a Man Do You?

Last Christmas, my Aunt Janie asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told her unhesitatingly that I wanted fabric to make a plaid Christmas skirt. I wouldn't have time to make it that year but definitely for Christmas 2009. She told me to go out and buy the fabric as gift from her. I did. Then at an after Christmas clearance sale I bought a little more of the same fabric to make a matching skirt for Nutmeg.
It is a plain tafetta circle skirt filled with all the joys and pains that go along with a circle skirt. Fantastic look but loads of fabric and nightmarish details. I love my ruffle foot. I need a crinoline.

I got the inspiration for this skirt while watching White Christmas and so I call it the "You don't think I am the Kind of girl that would throw herself at a man do you Skirt" after the scene where the frighteningly skinny Vera-Ellen crawls along a bankette in a checked circle skirt.

You know the one.
I will call Nutmeg's "Mandy" after the should have been cut out and useless to the movie number of the same name. The "Mandy" would probably have actually fit Vera-Ellen.

Thanks, Aunt Janie! I love you!

*Update*  This skirt looks so much better now that i have a proper petticoat!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Knuckle Biting Nutcracker

Last night I took my daughter to the Nutcracker. It was her first time as well as mine. It was magical.We dressed to the nines.
Well, O.K., the elevens, those ARE seams.
It was so worth it too, at intermission we got my money's worth in compliments. Nutmeg was the darling, everyone adored her dress and our hairpieces. It almost made us feel as special as the ballerinas!
Let's go back to the beginning. La Kiera, Laura, Kristin and Bella picked us up just a few minutes late but we weren't worried (we had planned plenty of time) until we hit the freeway and saw 8 miles of tail lights ahead of us. I learned something about my best friend last night, she really doesn't like being late, almost as much as me. There was erratic, snippy behavior and cursing which Nutmeg echoed immediately.

We careened into the parking garage at 7:25 the ballet starting at 7:30. We bailed out of the hastily and poorly parked mini van and it was every woman for herself. Kristin and Bella were in the lead as we ran down 4 flights of stairs. Nutmeg and I brought up the tail as I hobbled down the stairs in 3 inch heels while carrying a 3 year old and not wanting to touch the gooey hand rail. I saw Keira glance back at us once as she crossed the street just to make sure I hadn't fallen down the stairwell. At least I like to think that she looked back because she was concerned about my welfare...
We ran across the 2 intersection crossings ignoring the signs and avoiding headlights. Kristin needed to buy tickets and we wished her luck at the box office and hustled in. Disoriented we found our seats which had someone in them. Thanks to the usher for bouncing him. Kristin and Bella did get seats after all and so we all watched The Nutcracker.And I cried a little as the curtain rose. I just knew it was one of those special moments I would remember forever, the night I took my daughter to The Nutcracker.
Nutmeg watched so carefully at the beginning her little head nodding and following each step. That is what I will remember.
The opening party scene could really be cut down in the interest of little patrons. Nutmeg asked when they would start dancing.
The Snowflake dance was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, just beautiful.
After intermission it was hard for Nutmeg to keep her interest she was thirsty, tired and hungry. She couldn't sit still but still she loved seeing the "princesses."
Afterward, we stopped for hot cocoa and in this picture you can see how at 10:30 pm the girls were a little bit strung out. Laura stared off into the distance her eyes glazed over, while Bella and Nutmeg were in a chocolate fueled spiral of hyperactivity feeding off of one another. This picture reminds me of 3 party girls, one is about to pass out while the other two are about ready to start dancing on the table and in the fountain, one with badly smeared make-up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There's No Place Like Cinderella's Ball

The light wasn't any better today so I went outside and tried to get shots in the sprinkling rain. They aren't much better but I offer them anyway.
Look out Little Red, there is a wolf behind you!

Coco sporting a Victorian Gown, Greta as Cinderella and Janie as Dorothy.

Cinderella was a bit of a headache and I wish I was happier with the result but the dress says "Cinderella" so I think the goal has been achieved.
Obviously, we need ruby red slippers so if anyone has some red Polly Pocket shoes you know where I live I will totally pay up to $2 for them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Grandmother, What Big Teeth You Have!"

"The better to play with my dear!"
I can't wait until Christmas! This is another gift I made for Nutmeg: a Little Red Riding Hood hood, a dress, a wolf and a Granny disguise.

These pictures were taken at noon today in Portland. There was NO light. I will try to get better pictures another day but in the meantime can we squeal together? Dirndl, angry eyebrows, wire rim glasses!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here We Come a Wassailing or a Rockin' Christmas List

(start at about 6 minutes)
One movie I love is Under The Greenwood Tree mostly because of the opening scenes of the "quire" caroling on Christmas Eve. Come to think of it I love Little Women too because of the scene where the girls are marching with their Christmas breakfast and singing "Here we Come a Wassailing" I love caroling and I love Christmas Carols but this year I have been wanting only rockin' music for my holiday tunes. Maybe I need high energy songs to keep up with the crafting fever there is nothign like dancing with a hot glue gun or an Exacto knife.
Here are some selections from my Rockin' Christmas list

(I don't know why Mariah Carey is on here twice I guess her Christmas songs are just better than the other versions.)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/ We Three Kings - Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
Cool Yule - Louis Armstrong
Christmas Baby Please Come Home- Mariah Carey
Last Christmas- Cascada
Run, Rudolph Run- Brian Setzer Orchestra (This link is good but the recording we bought on Amazon rocks HARDER)
I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - John Mellencamp
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town - The Jackson 5
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lucia Day

This year we decided to add some Christmas traditions from the countries of our ancestors. While discovering our Swedish heritage, we decided to adopt Lucia Day because Nutmeg is so very blonde and would make a great Lucia Maiden.It is also a tradition that involves breakfast in bed. I am looking forward to next year when Lucia Day is on a Monday and it won't have to be so early!
Our Lucia served us Kaloche which are Czech though we are not but they were so yummy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I have been crossing things off of my list this week. Finishing up the ends of projects and packing things up to send them away, or wrap and place under the tree.On Monday I made the fantastic contents of this box which I can not post because the recipient is a reader, she is going to love it and on January 13th I will show you what is inside so you can love it too.
I got the idea for this little guy via One Pretty Thing and made up my own pattern and whipped one up for my Little Latin Lover who turned one this weekend. He loves it as do my kids, they were a little jealous.
La Keira got a hand warmer and Calorimetry set for her Birthday
I think I am perfecting the rag curls. I love, my friends love and Moose loves the curly hair.
It has been below freezing here for about a week. This is unusual for us and people have frozen pipes and broken furnaces and all sorts of tragedies. We have been blessed and our biggest challenge is bundling up before we go outside. Here you see Boba Fett ready to play.And Nutmeg in the hat I whipped up in no time. I LOVE super bulky yarn.
There has been a whole lot of crafting going on from home made Christmas ornaments and pictures to fantastic Lego creations.

Moose and I had a favorite, it was this:But then we saw this:
See how Picard is bald and Ryker's charisma comes through his black hair?The bridge of the Enterprise has never made us so proud...
I turned this unflattering and yet lovely Irish wool cardigan into this:
I felt very guilty purposely felting a lovely sweater to turn into a laptop bag. But I need need a bag and the sweater wasn't being worn...
It needs a brown belt for a strap, so if you have one lying around...
And then today La Keira helped me make these:
To spread the holiday cheer you know.I hope your Christmas preparations are as much fun as ours have been.