Friday, October 28, 2005

A Catherine by any other name . . .

Our children are named after people we know with their middle names. (First names mostly because we just liked them.) We chose carefully, but never thinking how accurately we could name a child until Marilla came along.

Marilla Catherine, after my older sister, is quite the girl. She's so tiny, that at five and a half she still wears a four slim. Pink is her favorite color. She loves anything feminine. She has been known to oooooh and aaaaaah at jewelry store displays and sigh in longing at department store makeup counters. She's chatty and fun and laughs easily. In short she's a fun girl and I couldn't be happier that she takes so much after my sister.

Until Tuesday. We had our first Parent Teacher Conference with her Kindergarten teacher. It seems that Rilla takes a bit too much after her Aunt Cathy. Rilla is bright and happy and a joy to have in class. She has a few too many friends though and has a difficult time paying attention because she's busy talking to them. All the time. She also doesn't pick up the toys when she's done with them.

so, Cathy, would you mind having a visit with your niece? I'm blaming this on you. Sure, I'm her mother, but it's your name. ;) please don't throw doughnuts at me on monday for this.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another Bubba Quote:

while wandering around the house with his pajama bottoms on his head, with one leg pulled down over his face:

"I'm the ghost of laundry paaaaast! I'm the ghost of laundry paaaast! Give me a hug!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Popari? Poparet? Poperit? big mess of smelly flower petals

lots of things going on in Bedlam today:

-My camera is back from the hospital! woohoo! I need only to go to Boise to get it. Unfortunately, this happy circumstance can not occur until Saturday.

-My new favorite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion. My frequent readings of Austen in this past week have affected my writing style greatly. I find myself too often influenced by the writings and speeches of others. gotta work on that.

-Libby has learned how to go down stairs and loves to practice this new skill. Heaven help me.

-I have three black capes to make for Halloween. Two vampires and one Darth Vadar. I still have no clue what to dress Libby as.

-my neck is stiff and I'm having a hard time sleeping. I think it's time to buy a new pillow and this time I'm going for something good. no more $5 cotton ball pillows. This time I'm buying goose down!

-Steve wrote his version of the blueberry pancake episoide in his blog, link to the right. It's so much more funny and insightful than mine. Everytime I think I've managed a well turned phrase or a deep thought, he goes and shows me what good writing really looks like. Love ya, babe. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


With my XT in the shop, I've had to go back to using my film camera. Surprisingly, this hasn't been such a bad thing. My film camera is an Elan 7e (also Canon) and I do love it, but it's different to work with.

The Elan wasn't my first SLR. That was a Konica FC-1. A heavy brick of a camera that required me to do everything. I had to think about each shot, carefully focus everything by hand, watch my meter and adjust my exposure myself. Every single frame was considered before I squeezed the shutter release. I had to think or I would get nothing. I had so many out of focus pictures because the kids would move at the last second or I would try to shoot too quickly. It drove me crazy and I begged my husband to help me find room in the budget for something better.

I researched for months. I went to camera stores and held different models. It was a tough choice and there was a moment where I almost went for the Nikon. But I wanted my Elan. I wanted the "e" that stood for eye control focus. It was auto focus, auto exposure and heck, with eye control focus, it had auto focus point too. I didn't have to stop and think quite as much. the camera was thinking for me. I still had to worry about the expense of the film and the developing though, so I still spent time considering each frame.

But after a couple of years, I wanted more again. When we got our tax return money, I talked my husband into letting me spend a good portion of it on a digital SLR. The Rebel XT. That baby was brand new. I was able to buy it five days before the offical release date. It wasn't even out yet and I had it in my hands! Bliss! Heaven! I could take as many shots as I needed to get what I wanted. I could fill up my memory card as fast as I could think of pictures and never have to worry about the cost. Delete at will became my mantra.

And my photography changed. I was a bit more creative, but mostly, I wasn't thinking as much. I began to hate my own work. It was ugly. Most of my pictures were worse than snapshots. I let the advantages of digital become my weakness. Because I could just delete the bad ones, I wasn't taking time to have good ones.

Recently, however, as I've taken up my Elan again, I am thinking about my pictures. I'm taking time to compose the frame, to really take a photograph instead of just snap a pic. I am happier when I'm actually doing the photography. that's not to say that I will sell the XT and just go back to film permenantly, the advantages of digital are too hard to pass up. I think that I will pull out my Elan a bit more often though. When I find myself just "snapping a pic" I will take a moment to breathe. Load a roll every now and then and use a format that makes me think about what I'm doing.

And every once in a while, I will feel nostalgia for my Konica, for the camera that made me do all the work myself and gave me some of my very best work in the bargain.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's Like Blueberry Pancakes

Saturday at our house means pancakes. It's quick, it's easy, and my husband makes them. I sometimes miss the waffles on Saturdays that I grew up with but since Steve doesn't make waffles, I'm very happy with pancakes.

Yesterday, Joshua asked Steve if we had blueberries so we could have blueberry pancakes. Amazingly enough, we did. Joshua told everybody that daddy was making blueberry pancakes. The kids got all excited. Everybody told me about the pancakes. They were so excited to get something different. Except Matt who declared he did not like blueberries, so steve made some plain ones for him.

So we sit down at the table with our big pile of blueberry pancakes. About halfway through the meal we notice little, gooey purple balls on their plates. They had all been pulling the blueberries out or eating around them. And who else was doing this? why yes. Joshua. He declared he didnt' like blueberry pancakes.

Steve was very frustrated with them and has declared a new family catch phrase. All day anytime someone changed their minds about anything he said "Ah! blueberry pancakes!"

I was going to get all philsophical about this story, but it's like blueberry pancakes, I don't want to anymore. ;)

Friday, October 21, 2005

False Advertising . . . I hope.

My toddler (sniff!) is wearing a shirt today proclaiming her to be a "Princess in training." I bought this shirt. it's adorable hot pink with a puffy sleeve/long sleeve layered look. When I bought it, I didn't think much about the words. The capital P on Princess is apliqued plaid and the other letters look a bit Doodlebugish. In other words: it just looked cute and the price was right.

This morning, however, as I contemplate my "princess" in all her teething demon-child moodiness, I am struck by how right and wrong those words are at the same time. She is my baby and will always be. Always the last so I'll always treasure her little milestones with a deep, bittersweet nostalgia that wasn't there with my others. For them I cheered for their growing up. For her, I want to develop the first time machine so I never have to let go. And all this is to say, she'll most likely be spoiled. I hope not to completely ruin her or get my other kids thinking she's the favorite, but I'm thinking some spoiling is going to be going on. So, yeah, as the baby of the family, she's going to be a Princess.

But do I want a Princess? I'm not talking a Cinderella like princess, unbelieveably perfect, who is willing to scrub floors and make tea and invite to her wedding people that any other person would have drop kicked to the curb. When I hear "princess," I think of the modern incarnation of the spoiled girl who gets every whim fulfilled, with a mercurial temperment that parents conciously attempt to sooth by fullfulling all her wishes, being perpetual Fairy Godmothers and never parents. The Paris Hilton of Suberbia.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this (and my English teachers would have taken this opportunity to point out that free writes and first drafts are useful things) except to say, I want my girl to be a princess and not a Princess at the same time. I want her to feel loved and treasured but not that it's appropriate to throw a fit when Mommy won't buy the $40 t-shirt at Limited Too. It's a delicate balance. I don't know if I can swing it. I picture myself standing in the middle of a teeter totter like the 10 year old trying to be cool with the stepmother on one end and the fairy godmother on the other, trying desprately to be both and neither at the same time.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Finally! someone to make my decisions for me

So I found someone who could tell me what's for dinner. Her name is Leanne Ely and her website is Saving Dinner. I've been seeing her stuff promoted in my Fly Lady e-mails for over a year now. I have even tried a few of the sample menues and liked them somewhat. Recently however, I decided I needed to just use my Paypal money I had sitting around waiting for me to use and signed up with her "frugal" menu.

Ok, this woman really doesn't know a thing about being frugal. Basically, it's like her other menues only there's no fish or pork and instead of buying chicken breast you buy chicken thighs. (I don't. I buy the big bag of frozen breast instead.) oh and beans. gotta have beans to be frugal. so far I'm spending more than I do when I plan my own menu, about $15 a week more. It's not a lot and it is nice to have someone else tell me what to cook, but I'm not sold on this yet. I'm not sure how well I like her meals. She wanted me to make beef stew but without potatoes. who makes stew without potatoes? (I put them in anyway.) She's also a bit too fond of spinach and her stir fries are not even close to authentic. all in all, they aren't bad. They taste all right and the kids are adjusting to the "weird" food. That's what they call it anyway.

If you are wanting to try this menu mailer thing, I highly suggest you try the sample menus. She's got a new set every quarter and you can try a sample menu from each of her mailing lists just to be sure you get the one you want and that you actually like the system.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Trials and Tribulations of a SAHM

So I'm trying to start a book club. I'm asking women at church which means I'll probably be subjected to a lot of mediocre Deseret Book titles. (hey, they think Work and the Glory is the best book ever! and while I enjoyed the series, it is not in any way great writing. Come on, I dare you to count "it hit him hard" phrases next time you read it. It'll drive you nuts.) I'm ready to enjoy their book choices because I want the fun and the social aspect of the group. Part of having a book group is reading other people's choices and making them read yours.

Anyway, the first couple of women I asked, I chose very carefully. they seemed to have simmilar intrests to me. They were at the library with their children for reading hour. I figured they must like reading. Their response? "Oh, I don't have time to read!" huh. ok. I've got five kids and suddenly I feel three inches tall because I do take the time to read.

And it is taking the time. You choose what you do with your time. If you choose to have sparkling baseboards, that's your choice. If you choose to watch tv, or sew, or scrapbook, or whatever, that's your choice, and the big part is you can always choose something else. It's so easy to get wrapped up in my current life and how I do things, so easy to forget that I can change my schedule anytime I need to. Some things are set, like school schedules, piano lessons and church, but most of my life is very fluid. I can choose what I do and change my choice when I want something else.

I have found other women who are interested in a book group. A couple of them sounded excited about the idea. I'm excited too.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pandora's Box is now lying empty

Link has been editted. it actually works now.

There is no hope for mankind if these fashions become mainstream. Explore the horror that is the fashion shows of Dior and Jacobs. I realize that the runway crap is not what women wear, but the shapes and details often translate from runway to street. I truly hope and pray for the sake of all mankind that these clothes die the quiet pathetic death they so deserve so we may move on to clothes that actually look good.

(and did you see Jacobs breaking the cardinal law of baggy clothes and putting baggy on top and bottom? ack! give those women cardboard signs and send them to Salvation Army!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Negligent contract workers

that tooth fairy. She never remembers to come to our house. Poor Sarah had two teeth pulled on Wednesday and would you believe that the tooth fairy has yet to make an appearance? sheesh. I guess this is what you get when you pay your workers in teeth.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Something To Say

I'm looking. having a hard time finding it. We have a pretty routine life and there's not a lot to say about it at this point. Everybody is coming home from the Memory Trends show and I'm a bit jealous. I want to go to one of those shows. I want to meet people and have fun and see my pages posted in a booth. Stand in a booth and promote a product I love. Unfortunately, in order to get there, you first have to get a job on a manufacturer's DT and I seem to not be appealing enough as a designer for that. I gave up on keeping my pages "fresh" for submitting to mags and I'm updating my gallery at 2ps. it was so out of date that I had pages I posted four years ago on the first page. Really not a good promotional tool with the Paperkins peeking out of the thumbnail, lol. Just for fun, here's the last one I posted:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Marketing why?

I bought a big box of goldfish crackers for the kids. They love them and I don't buy them a lot so I caved. But only because it was a great big carton and at a good price. It had nothing to do with the little bubble that said "FREE Finn Figurine INSIDE!"

I found my FREE figuring and I'm left scratching my head. what the heck does one do with a three inch plastic goldfish cracker?

and yes, Sharyn, it's another slow day in Bedlam ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's petty but it needs to be said

and I don't have the guts to tell it to the person who needs to hear it. For five years I have been getting announcement papers from the elementary school. Every single one of them sets my teeth grinding. How can a secretary who works at a school not know the proper use of quote marks?! She uses them to emphasize things. Your fundraiser money must be turned in "tomorrow." So it's a pretend tomorrow? only we call it tomorrow, she calls it something else? We also have fake "permision slips," lunch "charges," and, unfortunately, "children." Everything is "important" and must be brought to our "attention."

arghhhhh!!! do the principal and teachers not read these things??? has no one told this woman that she's an idiot? really????? I swear I'm going to go into the office and show that woman how to use bold and italics as a Christmas "present."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pottery Barn's True Nature Revealed

Did you ever read your brother's Mad Magazines? (or your own if you happened to buy them) Remember the last page? the inside back cover? how it would have that one picture that if you folded it right would reveal the punch line of a joke?

Ok, now take your lovely new fall edition of the Pottery Barn catalog and carefully make a mountain fold right before the R in Barn. Now bring that mountain fold over just to the right of the O in Pottery.

And the truth is revealed:
But you just read it for the articles, right?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Teaching a Lazy Dog New Tricks

I'm not very good at the cleaning thing. When I had one baby and my dh was gone sixteen hours a day, I was perfect at it. Even my bedroom closet stayed spotless. Now that I have five kids and a house that doesn't have quite enough room, I'm terrible. There's always something that should be done around here. The bad part is I'm essentially a lazy person. I've read all the Flylady lit and, believe me, perfectionism is not my problem. I'm not avoiding it because I can't do it "right." I'm avoiding housework because I just plain don't want to do it. Her idea of only focusing on one room at a time really doesn't work for seven people living in a 1400 sq ft house.

However, I do like her 15 minutes at a time philosophy and I have adapted it to my own cleaning routine. starting this morning actually. 15 minutes in four rooms a day, the three main rooms and alternating days for my bedroom and the bathroom. I think if I can keep this up I can get to the point where I'm cleaning baseboards and walls and getting down cobwebs to fill my 15 minutes. That's my hope anyway. ;)

btw, this post is just to put it out there to the world what I'm doing so I can hold myself more responsible. That whole writing down your goals thing, you know. anyway. here's to a clean house and lots of time to read at the same time ;)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Linguistic Influences and the Leveling of American Dialect

What's up, Dawg?! Word. I watched a movie about a high school basketball team. Baby, that was good. They burned it up. They got it togeth-a, man. Word. I can't stop thinking like this. Man, this is trash, dawg. Need me some of that Meg Ryan. She's got it, baby. You know dat. Gotta get this crap out a my he-ahd.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Out of the mouths of babes

Matt, counting fingers: One, two, three, four, five . . . hey! I don't have enough!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Playing Dress-up

Recently, as my sweetie was planning the house concerts, I realized that I had no dressy shirts. Ok, I had one but I had to wear a safety pin to keep the front from gapping. My dress up wardrobe was seriously lacking. This comes from spending the clothing budget on the kids (and paper, but we won't go there.) Really, it's not that big a deal that I wouldn't have had a dressy shirt to wear. I have some t-shirts that look ok on me and most people around here don't dress up for stuff much anyway. I wouldn't have stood out or anything, but every once in a while even a casual girl wants to be mistaken for high maintenance.

I made myself a new shirt. khaki stretch poplin with a white collar and white french cuffs on a 3/4 length sleeve. It looks great on me. (yes, I said "made" and "looks great." My mother is a seamstress. I know what I'm doing ( ; ) I painted my toe nails red and even wore flippy sandals with a bitty one inch heel. (in khaki to match the shirt.) btw, there is no point to painting toe nails anything other than red. I spent extra time on my make up and hair. Things I normally spend five minutes doing.

I looked good. And even if no one else thought it, I felt like a high maintenance girl just for one evening.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Bad Week Got Worse

Last week was tough. On Wednesday I watched 24 happy people post about how they loved pink. I wanted to love pink. :( Cactus Pink passed me over. On Thursday we tried to pick apples but the orchard we chose had not sprayed this year and the apples weren't worth the time. Since we were supposed to be having a big apple cider making party, we had less than 24 hours to find an alternative. Bright spot in the week was finding a good orchard. The apples make good cider btw. On Saturday I was passed over for another dt and our cider making party got rained on. we went ahead with it and moved it into the carport. My brilliant idea for making the pulp did not work so hot.
Friday was the biggie though. The worst thing that happened in the month of September. My camera died. (steve says it's only mostly dead.) We were using it one minute and the next it wouldn't turn on again. just nothing. Tried charging the battery twice, changed out the CF card, took out the CF card completely, cried over it, nothing helped. Last night we drove to Boise so I could drop it off at the camera store so they could send it in for repairs. It is still under warranty since it's barely over six months old, but I still keep having aweful thoughts that they will find some stupid nit picky reason why they can void the warranty so I get stuck with the bill. Yes, I borrow trouble sometimes. in the meantime, I am without my camera for at least three weeks, maybe longer.

at least I never got rid of my film camera. it will be weird going back to it though.

Monday, October 03, 2005


I think I'm a closet modernist. My whole life I've been thinking of myself as a traditionalist. I love big ol' victorian houses, adorable bungaloes, old buildings. Then one day I wake up and discover I love Frank Gehry's work. His curves are so fabulous. The next thing I know I'm admiring big rectangle windows, stainless steel bars snaking across orange, curvy graphic chairs. It's almost scary. I secretly go to Design*Sponge and drool at her links.

It all started when I was looking for fresh inspiration for my scrapbooking. I started looking in modern architecture and now I can't stop. I'm seriously contemplating a subscription to Dwell. Just for scrapbooking inspiration. really.