Thursday, December 28, 2006

oops, i did it again...

the nail technician has just finished the top coat on the pedicure of the woman sitting in the chair two over from me. the tech stands up and turns to push her stool away so that the woman can awkwardly get up and walk to the area where she'll receive her manicure.

just as the woman is about to move her feet over to extract herself from the chair, she swishes her freshly painted christmas red toes against the technician's lab coat. all the polish comes off in ten tiny graffiti swipes.

i can see the tech's expression, but her back is turned to her client. her grimace is a mixture of, "holy crap," and "how can i punch her in the face and still get a tip?" but when she faces her customer again, she says with a slight smile on her lips, "that's okay. we'll fix it right up."

and that, dear reader, is why i could never do this particular job...i'm not a good enough actress.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


sisters! sisters! there were never more devoted sisters.

a year of december...

teresa of maggiegracecreates has challenged craft bloggers to make a list of 12 handmade gifts (one for each month of the year) they will commit to making in 2007. this should help us avoid the last minute crafting crunch many of us got caught in (yea, right).

i can't list most of the handmade gifts i'd like to make for christmas next year, but i CAN list 12 christmas crafts i'd like to make for myself that totally did not get done because i was so busy getting gifts bought and made. here goes:

january -- pom pon garland (this has been on the to-do list since LAST christmas)

february -- dress ornaments made from cheap-o craft felt with the help of my sizzix machine

march -- new stockings for the wallaces made from felted sweaters embellished with our names needlefelted using martha's stencil instructions

april -- gum wrapper style garland made from old sheet music (i started this one when i was recuperating from surgery in january of 2005...i need to either finish it or send it to the recycle bin)

may -- forest of stuffed trees ala little birds

june -- yo-yo garland ala hello my name is heather

july -- make a village of little cardboard houses covered in glitter and sparkles

august -- maybe i'll finally finish MY gingerbread house i started on 12/10/06? editor's note: i threw the whole kit and kaboodle in the trash on christmas eve morning. i decided i didn't need another nagging project hanging around...i didn't even miss it when it was gone.

september -- work on making christmas cards

october -- i feel like at least once in my life i need to make a popcorn/cranberry garland, don't you?

november -- make giant snowflakes for the dining room windows

december -- make homemade hot chocolate mixes to give as last minute gifts (these were so delish and such a big hit at this year's gingerbread house party, i want to make it a tradition!)

i AM going to make a list of handmade gifts for each month, but i think i'll keep that under wraps.

i shopped a lot ten presents crossed off my list for next year. now if i can remember where i've hidden them next year, that will be a good thing.

on another note: this year, i finished all but one gift/craft item by christmas. this is in addition to kelly's knit cap that i completed on christmas morning. he wore it and watched a couple of episodes of the original star trek while i napped on his lap. the perfect christmas day, if i do say so myself.

hope yours was merry.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

an embarassment of riches...

my sweet friend, lesley, made and then gifted me with this exquisite needle felted pin cushion as a hostess gift for my gingerbread house party. i about fainted from delight. i placed it on a high shelf where seven-toed cats and baseball glove-wearing men couldn't topple it or sniff it or bother it in any way. then i adored it some more. see the little "insects?" those are tiny straight pins embellished with shrink-plastic. they are quite detailed and so perfect on this elf-like toadstool.

then, last night, she gave me this...
it is as perfect a confection as ever there was. layers and layers of "cream" and cherries (i sincerely think cherries are the most fab fruit ever! and yes, more wonderful embellished pins.
and that was not all! oh, no! there was an envelope filled with vintage christmas stickers, a vintage christmas apron (i wore it while watching "britain's next top model" when i got home), a luxurious length of vintage flocked wall-paper, homemade fudge (yea, that got eaten while watching rail-thin models strut their stuff, hence the need to wear the apron), and the sweetest note that sincerely made me turn into mush inside.
it was the perfect way to kick off the christmas holidays! thank you, made my heart grow two sizes today!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

730 days...

...cancer free. 1095 days to go 'til my five years are up.

i got turned down yesterday at the office blood drive. i never even thought that having had cancer was an automatic disqualifier for donating blood. the little five minute interaction with the nurse made me quite emotional. the tears didn't start to fall until i was in the stairwell of my office building, but i couldn't put my finger on why it made me cry until i was home and in the sanctuary of my bedroom.

it made me worried that the cancer would come back.

i know it won't come back...because i have a feeling that it won't and, more importantly, the odds are against it.

but when a very official nurse-type tells you that you can't do something that you thought you were 100% healthy enough to do, it can give a girl reason to pause and think about why the nurse-type would say that.

the very logical part of my being knows that it has nothing to do with me specifically...that there are tables and charts and graphs that tell the medical community that most of those with cancer shouldn't give blood because of the possibility that the cancer could be laying dormant in their systems.

it is not about ME.

but honestly, i really just wanted the free sweatshirt.

Monday, December 18, 2006

hey there!

i'm a bit of a crafting frenzy these days--mostly things i can't share here because they're presents or in process and not ready for public viewing or still in the idea stage or my camera's never where i need it to be at the right time or i'm too exhausted to think about blogging and/or taking an object's picture.

and i just realized i have about 15 more items to sew, embroider, felt, bead, than i had originally thought. you know what that means, right? a night in the craft dungeon for me.

although the above two paragraphs may sound like i'm overwhelmed, oddly, i am not. energized. excited. filled with the christmas spirit, actually. it is, after all, only time...and time is infinite (at least that's what i keep repeating to lull myself to sleep each night).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

winter gal...

the cd in my car is joni mitchell's hits. my older sister listened to joni when she was sad. her husband would walk in the door, hear joni's voice coming out of the stereo speakers and brace himself for the sight of the puddle of a girl he was sure to find huddled on the couch. it helped her get over the sad--pulled the tears out of her and dried them up too.

me? i like to listen to joni when i feel just fine. the music makes me want to live the artistic life...bowls of oranges on the table and beads hung in the windows...imagining i had a secret past with a short love affair that ended with him longing for me for the ages and me smug in the knowledge that i was the tops for him.

mostly, though, i play joni at holiday-time. my favorite, non-traditional, christmas song is her "river" (lyrics follow). the plinky plinky piano accompaniment is so melancholy it never fails to pull one tiny tear out of the corner of my eye each time i listen. let's just say i had it on "repeat" this morning.

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby cry
He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river

I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

so sweet!

take ten creative, fun, adventurous women and throw in 40 gazillion pounds of candy and royal icing and you end up with hours of fun and 10 completely different gingerbread houses! my house smells like christmas and halloween all rolled into one....mmmm....sugar.

Friday, December 08, 2006


can't remember where i got this, but i found it when i was cleaning out my bag this a.m. thought i'd share it. i thought it kind of cool that you, as the reader, have the chance to see my handwriting. here are my answers if it's too hard to decipher up there.

my name is heidi sue wallace

childhood ambition to be a nurse

fondest memory 3-way tie -- 1) day i got married 2) day nathaniel was born 3) day i found out my cancer was gone

soundtrack "stealing beauty"

wildest dream to join the peace corps and work in central america

proudest moment each and every time i see nathaniel

biggest challenge being patient and easygoing

alarm clock don't need one...i wake up early, early, early on my own

perfect day wake up early and drink coffee and knit 'til kelly wakes up, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out, oh the bookstore, thrift store shopping and yarn store

first job babysitting -- i HATED it!

indulgence dove dark chocolate

last purchase shhh, it's a secret for kelly

favorite movie when harry met sally

inspiration the world is my inspiration

my life is a pink & green merry-go-round

my blog (well you're here aren't you?)


late autumn of the year 1984 i was 19 years old. the thought of going home during my six week break between thanksgiving and the new year felt like an existential game of "mother may i" and i decided to stick around small town middle usa and work my campus job. i worked in the college post office. i sorted mail into the ornate student mailboxes and picked up and delivered to all of the classroom buildings, three times a day. i earned not a penny for this job as all of my "earnings" went toward my portion of my tuition. (it turns out that this decision was one of my worst financial mistakes as i had yet to learn that my work study portion for the year was to be forgiven when i went abroad the following term, and i could have/should have gone home and worked a regular job and actually made money, but the independence was worth the self-imposed poverty, i suppose.)

i lived in the home of a sociology professor who was on sabbatical. it was cottage style and decorated with all manner of danish inspired pieces. in my sophomoric mind, it was the height of academic sophistication. i shared the house with my spanish professor and her aide. it was then that i learned to appreciate the calm afforded by preparing meals as a community, carefully choosing ingredients and spices while thoughtfully listening to npr. the food was simple and comforting, almost always vegetarian and filling. my housemates were introspective and mellow. i was a loose cannon comparitively and i caught them on more than one occasion, shaking their heads at my choices (personal and fashion-wise). i rode an old one-speed schwinn between my job and the house. i didn't own a proper coat, so layering was the order of the day. army pants, three sweaters, mis-matched mittens and a hat i procured from the lost and found to cover my shaved head. i spent what little money i had on marlboro lights. the house was without a television so i spent my evenings often alone in the study turned my bedroom--reading, writing, smoking and listening to kate bush, joan armatrading, and prince.

on the way to work this morning, the light was exactly the same as it was when i boarded my bike and headed to work and it was just as cold. i remember the satisfaction of smoking the first cigarette of the day in the cold, how the smell could be fresh and lingering. how good coffee special i felt toting the mail on the deserted campus. how original it all seemed.

when the students returned after the new year, i was protective of the grounds and the sidewalks and the light in the morning. i didn't want to share it. i wanted to hold it close and guard it from the casual attitudes and loud voices.

those six weeks were the last time i was truly alone in my life. i gave up smoking and solitude and traded those in for a lifetime of devotion and caring and company (all very good things). but this morning i really wanted to stand out in the sunrise and watch smoke curl from between my lips and be 19 again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

w.b.w. {one day late}

happy 20th {engagement} anniversary, baby (also one day late)!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

sage advice...

first off, let me say, quite honestly, that i love the holiday season. i love it even more when the weather cooperates and fulfills my dreams of cold air and snow-covered ground. it feeds my obsession toward perfection like nothing else can. i tell you that because this past weekend when the world got covered in twinkly ice and, what my mother likes to call, "white death," my over-achiever holiday self kicked into high gear and the vortex of disappointment began.

yesterday i typed up a list of things i'd like to accomplish by this weekend and before THE BIG DAY. this morning at the breakfast table, i added to the list. it's now over a page and half long. "unrealistic" does not begin to describe the magnitude of what the list encompasses. kelly, ever so gently, and with twenty years of experience behind his words, suggested that i might want to prioritize. i held the list where he could see and pointed out that i had already done that...the items i wanted to get done before sunday were in bold. if those got crossed off, then i would move on to the items that were italicized. if the heavens aligned, then i would work on the list of things in plain type. of course, up to that point, i hadn't added handwritten items to the list. the question then was, should i re-type the list? re-prioritize? adding new bolded items and deleting items i accomplished last night. or do i leave it as is and look on the list itself as not another project, but a helpful guide?

in the shower i thought of more items to add.

dear reader, "vortex of disappointment" sounded like an exaggeration two paragraphs ago, didn't it? do you grasp the magnitude of what i'm dealing with here? it's like i can't stop. and no amount of dove dark chocolate promises wrapped in a foil fortune that tells me, "it's okay to do nothing," will right my course.

and then i came into work.

overnight we had received a daily fax newsletter that is actually a giant advertisement disguised as a newsletter. i don't usually read it, but this morning, something caught my eye--a column on holiday depression. and in bold letters were the following:

don't let the holidays rule your life.

make sure to get enough sleep.

save some alone time.

try to be realistic.

to tie the word "depression" with my tendency towards obsessive behavior stopped me cold. over-achiever heidi is going to have to take a back seat this season so rational heidi can take the reins.

can you say "wake-up call"?

Monday, December 04, 2006

photo booth monday...


Friday, December 01, 2006


photo booth friday has morph-ed into photo booth monday, okay?

the weather here in "the lou" has thrown us for a loop. midday yesterday the ice, sleet and freezing rain poured down. by the time i left my office there was a thick layer of ice covering my car--freezing my car doors shut. oops.

two hours later i pulled into my driveway. last night was the very first time in my 23 years of licensed driving that i drove in ice/snow. it was about time, wasn't it?

i am a spoiled queen. since kelly works for a school district, whenever there is bad weather, chances are that he doesn't have to go in (he and nathaniel share the television vigil on nights with bad weather). since i DON'T work for a school district, i still go to work in the bad weather. hence, kelly has driven me to and from work on bad weather days for the past 20 years. but yesterday the bad weather came in the middle of the day. it was not bad, really, but i did call kelly before i left just to confirm the correct driving tactic if i were to go into a slide. i think that call might have concerned him a bit. but i made it just fine and now i know that if, in the future i start to swerve, to turn into the swerve and take my foot of all of the pedals.

yes, i'm learning.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


this is it...the last day of nablopomo (national blog posting month). and i did it. kind of. a post each and every day for 30 days. some days i had nothing i wanted to share so i showed you a picture. some days it felt like i couldn't wait to type up my thoughts. either way, this exercise did help me get into the practice of posting more, something i was wanting to accomplish anyway.

some things i've learned...

1. way back wednesdays are here to stay, that is until i run out of pics from vintage knitting books.

2. people feel very strongly about christmas decorations.

3. posting every day keeps the peeps coming back (my numbers are way up!)

4. i like writing and will be doing more of it here and elsewhere...that's all i can say about that.

thanks to all the new commenters and readers and visitors. i hope you come back again and again and again. booth friday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

way back wednesday part 5...the cinco

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

there are limits...

i have one hard and fast rule regarding holiday decorations...thou shall not depict santa and/or jesus more than one time in your display. it can be confusing to the little ones...okay and it's wrong--dead wrong.
in this one yard alone there are no less than 5 santas! christmas appears to have thrown up in this very tiny front yard. particularly disturbing to me is the santa on the motorcycle...with sunglasses. was there a sale on gross-tastic inflatables at big lots or something? i must have missed the memo.

Monday, November 27, 2006

rrcs re-cap...

did you go? didn't you love it? couldn't make it, so you're here because you're trying to track down a fab bag to go with your newest ensemble? well, welcome and check back often for monday posts with bags to make your very own!

this week, for your consideration...

sherbet stripe -- hot pink, lime green, purple, orange and cream stripes.

11.5 " high x 11' wide

100% wool from recycled, felted sweater

$38, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

intarsia sweater bag -- heathered forest green with light green intarsia border; embellished with vintage buttons.

10" high x 15" wide

100% wool from recycled, felted sweater

$38, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

buttery yellow two handled bag -- crew-neck pocket, vintage mother of pearl button closure, lined with vintage sheeting (see pic below). mostly handsewn.

body of bag is 9" high x 14" wide; handles add 6" to the height of the bag

100% wool from recycled, vintage felted sweater

$45, free shipping and handling to anywhere in the u.s.

e-mail me with questions or to order. please place orders by december 18 for delivery by christmas.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


tree, ha ha tonka state park

Saturday, November 25, 2006

giving thanks...

water tower, ha ha tonka state park
thankful for a mini-break with my guys, hiking in missouri's scenic state park to ruins of a turn of the century stone castle, for clear cave fed streams, for movies, for the meals we shared, for good music, for sunshine and warm weather, for being here for another glorious year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

be there or be square...

saturday, november 25 from 12-9
sunday, november 26 from 12-6
my stuff will be there all weekend, but i'll be there on saturday between 2 & 4 and on sunday between 4 & 6 if you'd like to stop by and say, "hi!"
2727 south 12th street
(intersection of lynch and 12th, catty corner from the brewery tour parking lot)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

book/cover lesson...

my grandmother's next door neighbors are the parents of 10 children. during the summers my sister and i lived with my grandparents. the family of 10 had two boys who were the exact same ages as my sister and i. the youngest, timmy, and my sister, becky, were like two peas in a pod--goofy, lanky and natural comediens. when we put on our mcdonald's muscular dystrophy backyard carnivals, timmy and becky stole the show with their antics.

my sister, now living in germany with her family, has turned her gifts into a job...she is a professional clown.

timmy had a natural way about him and always won in our games of stick ball in the alley, but let me do i put this nicely--he never seemed peculiarly bright.

so when, not long ago, my grandmother told me that tim (minus the -my) had received his ph.d. and written a book on molecular biology, i was more than a bit surprised.

i think this outcome flies in the face of the adage, "show me the boy at 7 and i'll show you the man."

here's a blurry pic (taken with my 110 camera) of the summer gang circa 1976.

back row: me, fred, christopher; front row: becky, sheri, timmy (who knows why the girls are all saluting and the boys look like they're dancing?) my gram shot this picture. she took all six of us to the zoo...on the city herself. what a brave sweetie she is!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

way back wednesday part 4...

these sweaters are fab, but did you notice the TWO typewriters in the background?
blue and red. i am having serious typewriter envy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


i dropped off my inventory last night for the rock 'n roll craft show. during the check-in, one of the organizers wanted to know more about my process, the materials i use and my inspriation. all of this information was to be fed into the computer so that they could properly discuss my work while kindly selling my goods. well, ladies and gents, the queen was at a complete loss for words. because as eloquent as i might be here on this page (hey, you--i see you giggling over there. cut that out!) one-on-one, i'm quite the shy-ster. and at one point i think i actually looked at her and said, "i've been sewing with wool for 12 weeks straight. i don't have anything left to say about that." who knows what she thought of me.

if i had been mentally prepared for the q & a portion of the check-in i might have said some of the following:

1. i love wool and wool by-products.

2. i {heart} thrift store shopping so much! and cannot pass up a luscious woolen beauty. when there are three 60 gallon rubbermaid tubs with sweaters taking up valuable space in the craft dungeon, then one must come up with a use for said sweaters. hence, the idea of the sweater bag was born.

3. who doesn't need a new purse/tote?

4. i like to use up each and every scrap of a sweater. so i start off by using the majority of the sweater for the bag itself. then i use the sleeves to make a number of tissue covers and zippered bags. then the scraps get cut into flowers and sewn into pins. i also keep all of my scraps because the center of a flower can be cut from a piece of felt as small as 1" square. i learned my crafty skillz from my gram and she grew up in the depression. in her opinion, there was nothing too small to not be saved.

5. i still haven't kept one of my creations for myself. i have sold and/or given all of them away. maybe after the holidays i'll treat myself to one really special bag.

6. i hope that when people see my work, they are struck by each piece's simple beauty, utilitarian nature and the whole reduce/reuse/recylce vibe about them. once a sweater has been accidentally washed and shrunken or has a stain in an inconspicuous spot or is slightly moth-holey, it doesn't become trash or something to be cast-off, but, in my eyes, it is transformed into medium of choice. that's when the real fun begins.

if only i'd had my wits about me last night, i coulda wow'ed 'em.

Monday, November 20, 2006

what would laura ingalls do?*

i've written here about our lack of a dishwasher. we only have dial-up internet connection. but we are slowly, painstakingly making progress into the 21st century.

last night we properly installed a new vcr/dvd combo and on wednesday we are, for the first time in our 20 years together, having cable installed.

it is a nothing short of a miracle.

but really, it's all about the fact that i missed gilmore girls two weeks ago, and that is unacceptable. the old, noisy, craptastic vcr didn't tape the episode made all the characters walk and talk in fast motion. we tried to limp through and get the gist of it, but ended up watching the entire hour-long show in about 10 minutes (it was the one where lorelai and christopher go to yale for parents day). it looked like it could have been really hilarious, but was most likely just a transition episode--an extended set-up for lorelai and christopher's trip to paris.

AND, not only did the vcr goof up it's one and only job (the recording of MY shows) but the reception using c. 1967 rabbit ears has become lackluster. yes, you read that last sentence correctly--there are rabbit ears attached to my vcr. are you interested in seeing how your granddaddy watched tv? well you can come over to our house (for the next 48 hours, that is) and it's like the history channel has come alive in our living room!

the fact that we don't have cable sometimes does come up in casual conversation. people, including my mother, will ask us if we saw "project runway" or "six feet under" or "trading spaces" or that story on cnn and we will say shyly (and in the case of my mother, emphatically) that no, we did not see said episode of those popular, ominpresent television shows, because, WE DO NOT HAVE CABLE.

and then that's when their faces change and they look to see if they can detect anything else different about us--the trio of 6's tattooed on the backs of our skulls or the way our third eye keeps peeping out from under our bangs. but, no, nothing. we look normal in every other attribute. we. just. don't. have. cable.

but soon our shroud of luddism will be shed and we can look on the world with clear, fresh eyes.

coming soon...a garage door opener.

now we're just talking crazy.

*i borrowed the title of this entry from the author of greetings from knit cafe. she reports that there are women that often come to her yarn shop and are frantic over some knitting disaster. and she calmly asks them, "what would laura ingalls do?" because really, what would any of us do if left on the prairie with a knitting/homekeeping/cooking dilemma? in the words of tim gunn, we'd, "make it work."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

signed, sealed...

and almost delivered.

each and every purse, brooch, tissue holder and zippered bag is finished, inventoried, tagged, boxed up and ready to be handed over to the awesome organizers of the rock 'n roll craft show.

it feels so good to be finished ahead of schedule! so, so good!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

yesterday's get-up... i'm just begging people to stop and take notice.
yes, those are turquoise fishnet stockings under my lace-edged leggings. thanks for asking!

Friday, November 17, 2006

martha, martha, martha...

seriously, i {heart} martha stewart, but if she puts out one more issue that fills me with more good ideas than i have time, i may have to start ignoring her.

yeah, like that's going to happen.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

pricing must now begin...

no, not pricing the typewriter, but my purses, brooches and more. my inventory list is filled in and the items are all made (okay, almost all made),
which means that this weekend...the commencment of the typing of the tags!
and this is one of the most hands-on intensive steps in my process as the tags i make often have as much work in them as the products they go on. but the tags are so much fun to make! the pricing portion of the show is always a crazy inner dialogue wherein i tell myself that my work is valuable and the prices should reflect the work entailed in making each piece and then the other side of me says that i am alienating my customer base by charging too much. and how do you objectively determine the dollar value associated with something you pore your blood, sweat and tears into?
see? it's going to be a neck-tension-y good time, no?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

way back wednesday part 3...

6th plague of modern-day egypt--sweater boils...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

happy, happy, joy, joy...

let's bring it up a notch, whadya say?

i got pretty much accomplished this weekend. it was another one that was a good blend of getting things marked off of my to-do list and having fun. you know, laundry was washed, dried and folded and i got to go to a housewarming party for some dear friends.

and in the category of new experiences, i'd like to offer this little cocktail recipe i sampled at said housewarming party.

peanut butter jelly shot

1. mix equal parts of frangelico and cranberry juice

2. sip or drink swiftly (in the manner of a shot, duh!)

3. lick lips yummily...

don't forget--tomorrow i will post pics of my brooches! please check in!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

the old lady next door...

that is who i am turning into. the one who complains about things that are none of her business. so, with that being said, here goes.

when you go to a fast food restaurant with a self-serve beverage area, and they ask you if you want a soda and you say no and say you'll just drink water, but use the water cup you're given and fill it with soda, that's stealing. granted, it is the pettiest of petty crimes, but stealing just the same. and please, parents do not do this for your kids. the lines can seem pretty blurry on moral issues to a seven year old.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

testing, 1..2..3...

kelly and i bought nathaniel an ACT prep book today. i didn't know it, but i could have purchased a PSAT book to help nathaniel prepare for that test...but then it all started to seem so silly. i mean was i supposed to buy him a prep book for the IOWA test he took in 4th grade? aren't these standardized tests designed to measure what you know not how much you've prepared? it's a loop of logical thinking really, because it's really all about convincing a given institution of higher learning that they should admit you. and once you're in, then that's all that matters, but it does give me pause. how far do we need to push our kids? when is it all too much?

a friend of mine also has a junior in high school. he has spoken at length with me about how he wishes his daughter would try harder, study more and spend less time in the drama room at school with her improv group and concentrate on getting good grades and plan for the future. he asked his daughter, ally, if she wanted to work at starbucks, because if that was her aspiration, then he could change his way of thinking of her future right now. his comments made me feel badly for his daughter, and i told him so. "poor ally. when i feel that i might be pushing nathaniel too hard, i think to myself about how hard i try in my everyday life. i don't give it 100%, 24/7 and i bet you don't either. do you really go all out, all day, every day, jim? no? then why do we expect that from our kids?"

i also feel badly that i called jim out on this...who am i after all? maybe if i'd tried harder, back in the day, i wouldn't be somebody's secretary. but what good is being successful in your career, if deep down all you wish is that you were happier or that your parents didn't always seem disappointed in you?

Friday, November 10, 2006

the taller they are...

i worked late at the office last night.

on my way back from the copier to my desk, i fell down. not the kind of falling down where you trip a bit and catch yourself and look over your shoulder to see if anyone saw you, but the kind of falling down where you go ass over head and end up splayed out on the floor with a bewildered look on your face.

this morning i woke up with two sore knees and crick in my neck and a lifetime's worth of embarassment, because, did i forget to mention? i fell down in front of two attorneys i work for? oh, yea, that was definitely the way to win their respect.

i can't tell you why i fell my vertigo coming back? am i turning super klutzy in my advancing years? did my high heel get caught in my cuff?

i took today off...not REALLY because i fell down...but that is an extra added bonus.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

mais oui! j'taime paris...

french village drive-in sign
near collinsville, illinois

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

way back wednesday part 2...

want to go for a ride in our oldsmobile, boys?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

rock 'n roll, baby...

for those of you visiting from the rock 'n roll craft show site (and for those beloved everyday readers!), here's a sneak peek at a few of the gems i've got for the show on november 25 & 26.
next week--brooches!

Monday, November 06, 2006

dollar store costume...

during the workaday week, i dress for my role--assistant to the v.p.--conservative, dress slacks, blouses, skirts and mary janes.

on the weekend though, i'm funky girl. for example, on saturday i was wearing fushia patterned tights under my brown leggings, a vintage pink/yellow/cream/brown plaid mini-skirt and a long-sleeved pink crew neck tee under a short sleeve creamy tee with a vintage barbie fashion drawing. during chillier moments, i had on a cream shrug fastened with a oversized safety pin. shoes? my favorite brown clogs.

yesterday i had on black clogs, black cableknit tights, a vintage flouncy black skirt with lime green and lavendar polka dots. on top was a long sleeve black crew neck tee with a slim fit green sweater vest trimmed with lavendar. not an outfit ripped from the pages of vogue, but it definitely earned style points.

i went to the dollar store pretty early yesterday morning. i can blame a tiny misunderstanding i had with the check out girl on my lack of coffee intake, but when that was politely cleared up, i heard her comment to the customer behind me, "and did you see what she was wearing?"

everyone is entitled to their opinion, but must we, all of us, give voice to them all of the time? is the lesson of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," no longer taught in school? or more appropriately, at home?

i'm a big girl and my feelings weren't hurt. because, let's me honest, i don't wear my "get-ups" to melt into the background. they're meant to be noticed. that would be like saying i got my face pierced nineteen times and i'll be offended if anyone makes comments about that fact. but, people, at least wait until i'm out of earshot.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

pretty party people...

nate & claire
metro high school
2006 homecoming

Saturday, November 04, 2006

kidz lit...

i ate dinner next to a roaring fire tonight. kelly commented that prehistoric man was lucky to discover wood and it's long-burning ability. which made me think about the long winter by laura ingalls wilder, in which mrs. wilder recounts the tale of the winter her family spent huddled in their home on the prairie, grinding wheat seed to make bread and twisting and braiding stalks of hay so that the hay wouldn't burn too fast.

i love that book...and all the little house books,

and the indian in the cupboard series,

and the borrowers books,

and the wizard of oz books,

and the narnia books,

and the harry potter books.

there are so many books that i got a chance to enjoy again or read for the very first time because we shared them with nathaniel and read them out loud. that is a gift that our children give us...the opportunity to re-visit the best parts of our childhoods and revel in the brightest, warmest memories. even a blazing fire doesn't keep me that warm.

Friday, November 03, 2006


these two cuties are doing fine, just fine, after their ordeal on wednesday night (their parents, though, were a bit shaken up).
tomorrow night's homecoming so there's much to look forward to. wednesday night is already fading from their memories.
oh! to be 16 again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

everybody's fine...

the car, however, is not.

last night, nathaniel was t-boned by a driver who blew through a stop sign. the driver's seat was pushed over into the center console...meaning nathaniel was also pushed over into the center console. luckily when the door was impacted, nathaniel's arm was up...if it hadn't been, the arm surely would have been broken. nathaniel and his pretty passenger were both thoroughly checked out in the ER and were cleared to go back out into the world and have another go at it.

lucky, lucky, lucky are we.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

way back wednesday...part 1

mmm...sweater weather.
happy november to you!

Monday, October 30, 2006

catch-up/weekend re-cap...

wow...last week was so crazy at my office. i came home each evening triple exhausted and feeling on the verge of getting a cold.

every year i feel that way right before the time change--as though i cannot take waking up pre-dawn for one more morning. and then, just in the nick of time (and thwarting a total nervous breakdown) the clocks change and i turn into cheerful girl again. it happened just that way this weekend too.

it also didn't hurt my mood that i crammed in a month's worth of fun into one short weekend.

friday night...after shopping for work clothes at my new favorite store and eating sushi for dinner i knit on the couch while watching history unfold.

saturday...went to the coolest, wackiest, craziest race i've ever been to! lesley's husband, bill, was on a team who made a vehicle that raced down this (they're on the left)....

on this...

i also got to sit in a space didn't make it to re-entry.

then we went to see running with scissors (i suspect an oscar nomination for ms. bening) and walked around a street festival/halloween party.

sunday...went out to breakfast here and had a delish meal of crab cakes benedict. then nose to the grindstone, worked on inventory for the upcoming rock 'n roll craft show while my dear sweet attentive and supportive hubby cleaned and laundry-ed.

it was the perfect blend of a weekend...getting things done but also having fun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


1st--i've changed the settings on comments so that they are no longer moderated as strictly. i was thinking that perhaps the reason that the number of readers has gone up but the number of commenters has gone down was folks' desire to see their comments right away. i'll reassess the new setting in a week, so get out there and comment!

2nd--i'll be participating in national blog posting month (NaBloPoMo) in november...that means a post each and every day (even weekends-eek). help me keep my stamina up and visit often, okay? and don't forget to comment. (see item#1)

3rd--GO CARDS! tonight is game 4 of the world series and we are up 2 games to the tigers measly 1. take that kenny rogers.

Monday, October 23, 2006


marie antoinette was fabulous. a feast for the eyes and ears. the story-telling, so sofia copolla-esque--simple and sad, sweet and endearing. i wanted to cuddle marie a. in a mom-ish hug and tell her it would be okay, even though i KNEW it would certainly not be (i mean, we all know how the story ends), but that is what a good mother does. in any case, i highly recommend seeing the film AND buying the soundtrack, which we did on the way home.

the soundtrack is a wonderful odd mix of asian/parisian instrumentals and way-back machine 80's numbers (you can't help but rock out to bow wow wow's aphrodisiac) to current-day pop songs from the likes of the strokes. nathaniel has already added 8 songs from disc 1 to his iPod. oh, did i forget to mention it's a two disc set? well, it is and it's great!

i encourage you to check out soundtracks as they are a wonderful way to explore music you may not be familiar with...i.e. the stuff you don't hear on commercial radio stations.

here are a few of my faves:

****stealing beauty (dreamy, trance-like pieces from eclectic artists like sam phillips and billie holiday)
****everything is illuminated (russian rap and accordion...sounds crazy and it is, but in a good way!)
****garden state (emo boy music...thanks to nathaniel for turning me on to this)
****pulp fiction (son of a preacher man...need i say more? oh yea, surf music)
****kissing jessica stein (this was the first place i hear blossom dearie, now i lerve her!)
****gilmore girls (i know this isn't a movie soundtrack, but this still has track after track of music i {heart}...yoko ono and claudine longet, together for the first time)
****felicity (another tv show soundtrack, also very good. the show skidded downhill after season 1, but the music is eternal)

what are your favorite soundtracks?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

do not go gently into this good night...

dear white jeans machine...

i know i work you mercilessly. i know that i often curse your inaccuracy and clunky-ness, but believe you me, i need you now like never before. your feed dogs are barking (i can hear them)! but you just have to hang on for four more weeks. to ease your pain, i'm committed to doing as much handsewing as my thimble-wearing fingers can take. but come on, white, you have to understand that this is a partnership and that without a little extra effort on your part, we're not going to make the deadline. i'll be glad to give you all the glory when folks comment on the fine seams and straight stitches, but you have to be willing to come half way.

i promise on november 21 i will take you in for a proper cleaning (i know you've heard that hollow promise in the past, but this time i really mean it)! please, dear help-mate, don't give up the ghost just yet. after you've been thoroughly pampered and treated to the sewing machine equivalent of a spa day, i swear it will be soft cotton and smooth fabrics from here on out.

and i know you've overheard me talking about getting one of these, but that's just talk and it doesn't mean a thing. you are my first, my last, my everything. so please don't worry your pretty little head about it. let's just keep our relationship together through this little rough patch and we can talk everything out in december, okay?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

16 down, 25 to go...

i've been working pretty steadily to turn this pile of felted sweaters

into this...
and this...

thank goodness for lots of televised cardinals baseball, dancing with the stars, gilmore girls, boston legal, and studio 60. all that tv makes for so much handsewing time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

use this word please...

the wallaces are big fans of making up or combining words that fit a unique situation.

one of my favorite word conglomerations is "nunce."

nunce (nuns) adv. 1. never. 2. not even once.

"when asked how many times she had gone scuba diving, heidi replied, 'nunce.'"

through everyday use we could get this word into webster's or, at the very least, wikipedia.

Monday, October 16, 2006


why is it that when one's bangs get cut too short one's hair growth seems to actually go backwards?

over one week ago i got bangs (yea, am i ten?) and the shortness continues. gallons of mousse and gel and hairspray have done little to nothing to tame the stick-outed-ness of aforementioned bangs. i feel like my 5 year old self in my kindergarten school picture sporting the beauty school drop-out version of a mangled pixie cut.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

dance the night away....

a bit blurry, huh?

well the evening is quite clear.

remember when i wrote about scott? well last night it was scott redux. we attended the st. louis ballroom society's dance at the mahler ballroom and there were two professional dance instructors who first lead a class in the cha cha cha and then throughout the evening asked members of the dancing audience to accompany them out to the dance floor. my heart leapt into my throat and i could barely believe my ears. i drank three gin and tonics to get through the night and then with some expertly timed bathroom breaks, i eluded having to dance with anyone but my dearest and oldest dance partner. and then in order to stave off the advances of the pros, we danced lots of dances we wouldn't normally try including the samba (imagine you're putting out cigarette butts with your toes and move your hips a bit and you've mastered this latin number)! ahh, maybe that was the point of having the professionals there--to scare you into dancing when you really wanted to plant your seat in a comfy chair and sip a cocktail. at any rate, we had a fabulous time. thanks, katherine and michael for letting us tag along.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

have you ever...

lifted from maggie grace creates...not tagged by her, but inspired by the questions.

taken a picture completely naked? not yet, but i think that window may have closed.

danced in front of a mirror naked? this something people actually do? please don't answer--that's a rhetorical question.

told a lie? of course.

had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? who hasn't? thank goodness i ended up with someone who did ardently return my affection.

been arrested? kind of...but not really.

seen someone die? yes and it was far more peaceful than i had imagined it would be.

kissed a picture? yes...what can i say? john travolta was hot in 1976.

slept in until 5pm? 5 p.m.? i mean who are we kidding here. i don't even like to sleep in until 9 a.m.!

had sex at work? ewww!

fallen asleep at work? catnap is a much better word to describe what actually occurred.

held a snake? yes, snakes don't scare me. please don't ask me to hold your bird though, okay?

ran a red light? they are never completely red when i go through the intersection and never on purpose. the cameras at intersections now make this a very dangerous, not to mention, potentially expensive, course of action.

been suspended from school? definitely not.

pole danced? no, but i wish i had the skillz. that's an impressive talent. something even a mildly agile girl could fall back on when in need of a little extra pocket money.

been fired from a job? nope, but there are times i wish someone had put me out of my misery.

sang karaoke? yes, but only while under the influence of alcohol. loosens the vocal chords, ya know. and i'm really pretty good.

done something you told yourself you wouldn't? yes...haven't we all? not anything i'm proud of.

laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? yes, my husband is quite the comedian. he makes me laugh that hard all the time.

laughed until you peed? no...a girl's got to have some self-control.

caught a snowflake on your tongue? yes, and it's not as easy as you think!

kissed in the rain? yes.

had sex in the rain? no...another, "ewww."

sang in the shower? mmm hmmm.

gave your private parts a nickname? no. the regular names are just fine.

ever gone to work without underwear? just for the sake of fashion.

sat on a rooftop? yes, but it was under duress. my boys decorate the house each year with gobs of christmas lights. my assistance was needed so i trekked up the ladder. for each rung under my feet i felt like a weight was being added into my back pockets that was pulling me backwards...ick.

played chicken? i don't think i even know what this is.

been pushed/thrown into a pool with all your clothes on? yes, and i hated it.

broken a bone? no, thank goodness.

flashed someone? orleans--girls' weekend--and only as a joke. oh, and did i mention it was just another girl in the group? she had beads i had to have and that was the only way i was gettin' them.

mooned someone? yes...i used to be quite daring.

skinny dipped? okay, yes, but that was in another incarnation of myself.

shaved your head? yes, and i would do it again in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the staid 9 to 5 gig i have. the suits would have none of it.

slept naked? can i remind the dear reader that the power was out here in st. louis for nine days during the hottest part of the summer. it was sleep naked or die, people. oh and of course, lots of other times too.

blacked out from drinking? yes, not a stellar page from my past.

played a prank on someone? not really...i don't really go in for that type of stuff.

had a gym membership? yes, a few times. all but the last time really got used. the most recent was 2 months before my emergency surgery. ended up never using it again.

felt like killing someone? no...that's a lot of raw emotion. i like to keep it in check. truly hated someone? sure. felt like smacking someone in the face? yea, but! talk it out people.

cried over someone you were in love with? yes.

had mexican jumping beans as pets? owned them, but they aren't pet-worthy...novelty sideshow act, sure. but pets? that's a stretch.

been in a band? no, but that would be hardcore. (please see above answer to karaoke question.)

shot a gun? no and i never will.

shot a bow and arrow? yes.

played strip poker? yes, and i should point out i don't even know how to play poker so i was the loser every time.

donated blood? yes.

ever jump out of an airplane? no...too much of a scaredy-cat.

been to more than 10 countries? nine...germany, france, mexico, guatemala, nicaragua, honduras, el salvador, jamaica, united states (this last one's a stretch, but it moves me closer to the elusive 10). 10/16/06 edited to add belize...i took a boat from belize to guatemala. thanks for reminding me, kel!

tagged--becky, denise & angelica

that is, if these questions are not too personal for you gals.

Friday, October 13, 2006

opening up to the possibilities...

when i knit a new pattern i break the pattern down into instructions for each row. i give each row a number and then the instructions for each row. if the pattern reads "knit even for 45 rows" i will write numbers 1 through 45 down the left-hand margin of my paper and write "knit" for each of those rows. at the end of each row, i make a tic mark to show myself and the universe that i have completed that row. (it makes me feel like i'm making progress, however small). i also use a row counter as a back-up. it may seem obsessive, but it works for me.

or so i thought.

my friend lesley had borrowed a pattern and my detailed row notes for said pattern. wednesday night at our weekly knitting get together she asked me sweetly, with her head cocked ever so slightly to one side, where in my set of instructions were the knit 7 rows straight that were called for in the book's directions? the answer was simple. they weren't. i had inadvertently left them out. she corrected her course and knit happily along.

yesterday i found a similar mistake in my transcription of row by row knitting for the pedicure socks.

of course i'm human. of course i make mistakes. we all do. but it is difficult to admit. i like to be correct. i enjoy the feeling of superiority i get when i know the answer that no one else does. but it is also an invaluable lesson to be reminded from time to time that we do not know a fraction of what the world has to offer. i am humbled by what i do not know. i am thrilled to think of all the things i have yet to perceive.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

ghosts of the past...

i arrived at work the other day to find a bag of candy had been placed on my chair. underneath the bag of candy was a note telling me i had been "ghosted." the note also instructed me to copy it three times, make up three more bags of treats and distribute them to others who had not previously been ghosted. i would know who had and had not been given treats by the display of a xerox-ed picture of a ghost tacked to their cube wall.

"great," i thought to myself. a chain letter with candy.

my mom sent me something similar about a month ago that instructed me to send dish towels to people on the list. i called her and asked her to please stop the madness. perhaps before the advent of the automatic washer ladies might have welcomed receiving six new dishcloths in the mail. me? my kitchen linen drawer is brim full. and the weekly load of laundry keeps the drawer well stocked with clean towels.

the candy thing, well, i played along. i made up three bags of treats, copied the accompanying poem and doled out my goodies. it was difficult to find three folks that weren't already letting their ghost flag fly. and that's when it hit me.

i was at the bottom of the ghost candy chain. honestly, it hurt my feelings a bit. the poem says you're supposed to give the treats to someone you think is "neat" or "swell" or "the mostest." i don't know, it's very third grade, really.

it was reminiscent of a valentine's day party in grade school. counting the valentine's in your box you realize there are 23 kids in your class and, not counting the valentine you didn't give to yourself, you only have 21 cards. you rack your brain and try to figure out who in the class dislikes you so much to not give you a valentine. because in your 8-year old brain it couldn't possibly be that the offender miscounted or ran out because they had to share a box with their sister. all you can think is that someone's got to really hate you to not give you a 5 cent holly hobbie valentine.

yea...the ghost thing was kind of like that, but with bigger words.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

hot socks...

my wonderful "hot socks" swap-bot partner, debby, sent me this excellent package of knitting goodies. in it are the following: the shortest double pointed needles i have ever seen, a ginormous bag of assorted teas, a big skein of opal sock yarn in turquoise and hot pink, a supply of stitch markers (you can never have enough of those), and some great burgundy-handled scissors. the scissors and the stitch markers are already in my knitting tool kit. the sock yarn is in the queue for knitting up.

thank you very much, debby! what a great swap-bot buddy you are!