Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everyone Deserves Fresh Flowers

What to do with this lovely explosion of flowers?

Why, cut a little bouquet, stick them in a baby food jar, and give them to your sister.

Here they are on her end table with my mommy in the background.

How do you accomplish such an amazing feat? Doozer has put together a simple tutorial. First select the perfect flower.

Find an appropriate place on the stem to cut.


Plunk!  You're done!

Of course, filling jars for flowers creates spunky puddles to slash in. 

Aren't those the cutest little footprints ever? 

I hope you are all having a fabulous spring day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Hair

Remember a while back when I did this to my hair?

Some people asked for a look at it in an updo, so here that is, in the bathroom mirror:

And then I did this, but with blue tips and chunks and I don't have a picture of that:

After a bit I wanted something new so I did this, captured by MySpace photography:

Well, forget all that. Because I changed my hair up again. Because I wanted to.

And squinty pictures, due to intense sunlight:


"What's that over there? Oh, just my pear tree."

Random thoughts:

I keep forgetting I don't have hair.

I keep getting caught on things like Velcro.
Your head can get very cold.
I keep getting kindly smiles, and I think people think I'm going through chemo.
I like not having to think about styling my hair.
It's easier to wear a bike helmet.

Cute conversation with my kid:

BuggaBoo: (crawls into my bed the morning after The Buzz, starts whimpering.)

Me: What's up, sweetie?

BuggaBoo: All your hair is gone.

Me: It'll grow back.

BuggaBoo: But how will I tell you and Daddy apart?

Annnd, how 'bout some silly photos to wrap things up?

Thanks for reading. And, dang, I'm going to have a lot of pears to thin this summer.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Eggs

This year we (I) decided using natural dyes would be fun. Searching the internet brought up so many different recipes it was difficult for me to choose. But I persevered and narrowed it down to just eight different colors. So being the mad scientist I am I whipped up the dyes, put them in jars, and commenced the dying. The kids got to choose which colors to do and I put the eggs in with a spoon. We left them to dye for hours as we ran errands all day.

From left to right: beets, red onion skins, chili powder, paprika,
turmeric, turmeric plus red cabbage, red cabbage, yellow onion skins

The hoped for colors would be, from left to right again: pink, deep red, red-orange, orange, yellow, green, blue, and mahogany brown. Results were not as expected but lovely nonetheless. The beet solution was the biggest disappointment, ending up as a murky brown rather than a vibrant pink. Tip: Do no boil the beet solution. Try blending the beet in a blender, straining it, then adding the vinegar to set the dye.

The beet dye results. Boo! Not the pink I was going for.

Everything from beets to paprika resulted in brown.

Red onion skins

Chili powder

Paprika (the egg in the foreground had the dye rubbed off by moi)

The rest of the colors, however, dyed beautifully.

Red cabbage

Yellow onion skins

Turmeric mixed with red cabbage

The Hubby and I decided to buy another dozen eggs and just focus on the yellow, green, blue, and mahogany. So that's what we did. We put them in and let them dye for about seven hours. This was the result of the second dying.

This next one is my favorite. Remember the paprika egg that I wiped the dye from? It still had an undercoating of brown, very similar to a regular brown chicken egg. I tossed it in the blue dye and this is what happened:


Oh, and the blue eggs match our chicken coop, like so:

Never mind the flopped over greenhouse. We had a windstorm and, well, it just died. We're going to try to revive it.

I'm sure this will have to become a family traditions. In the coming years I'll even let the kids mix up their own secret potions to dye their eggs. We'll be like alchemists.

I hope you enjoyed your Easter celebration and enjoy the spring to come!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Learning a Hard Thing

The other day The Hubby and I engaged in one of our favorite pastimes: scouring Goodwill for good deals. He found one, a movie titled "Baraka". We have been looking for this movie for years, so we snatched it up at the price of $5.00.

The best way to describe "Baraka" is it pulls you through the human experience. Somehow the images, locations, and music draws every emotion out. Many times I smiled and many times I cried. It is a very beautiful experience.

BuggaBoo asked to watch it with us (his aunt and me), and I let him. Oh, boy, does he ever ask questions! There is no speaking so there was nothing to explain it to him except me, and explain I did.

Near the middle of the movie there begins to be depictions of poverty, starting with slums in Brazil, moving to families picking through a garbage dump to glean any useful thing, and then to the homeless living on the streets of wealthy cities. My sister and I were crying at this point and BuggaBoo was becoming very upset. He kept asking what the people were doing, and I told him that they were poor and didn't have any home to live in. He didn't quite understand what that meant, how having money connected with having a home, but he could feel the anguish of it.

He told me, "My throat hurts, it really hurts, what does that mean?" I replied, "My throat hurts when I am very sad and wanting to cry, it hurts for me right now. It's okay to cry, it's sad that these people don't have homes." He just started bawling. And it was hard for me to see my baby so sad about this, my instincts being that my child should not be inconvenienced with painful emotions. But I was proud of him. Proud that he was not cynical, that he could empathize with those in need and want. That he could understand the very basic fact that people are people and deserve basic needs.

Was it wrong of me to expose him to this specific reality? I don't think so. We live near Portland, Oregon. There are an estimated 20,000 homeless people in the state, most of them concentrated in Portland. It is easy to tune them out, to hurry by. It can become easy to disdain them, to rationalize that they caused their situation, "You made your bed now sleep in it."

How many Americans are one paycheck away from losing their home (Psst -- One survey puts it at one-third)? How many Americans are lacking in sufficient health insurance in case of major hospital bills or mental health issues? How many of us are on the edge?

And even if we're in a good place, why does that give us license to look down on those others? For those who are Christianly minded, I'm reminded of the Prodigal Son. You know, left home, squandered his inheritance, lost his home and his friends, and ended up eating pig slop. He went home to see if his father would accept him back as a servant, and instead his father accepted him back as a son. Who was the one chastised? The older brother, displaying his feelings by demanding why he hadn't had a fatted lamb killed for him. The subtext, in my mind, is, "Why are we helping him? He made his own troubles."

For those that are Mormonly minded, I'm going to turn to the Book of Mormon now. It's one of my favorite passages, Mosiah 4: 16-18.

16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.


Whoa, that got all political and spiritual and such. I meant it to be a sweet testament to my son, and look where it ended up. I'm not sorry. It is something I feel so strongly about, that we are all people, that we all deserve basic rights, basic respect. Please, don't forget others that fall beneath our living standards. I believe we all knew this as children, what made us forget?