Monday, January 28, 2008

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. . .

My children heard Bobby McFerrin when Peaches played it for them from youtube. I came home to them serenading me. It was quite funny. My husband looked at me, "They get this from your side."

All evening they have not been speaking but singing. Laundry and evening chores have never been so crazy.

Peaches also showed them the Chipmunks.

I am the postergirl for Planned Parenthood, although I'd not trade a second of this for anything.

Edited later to add-- A few friends have written to me offering support. You can't see my facial expression as I write-- this was a very, very funny night! I was not complaining one bit!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Free Events

Today we took the kids to a free event at my college. There were free hot dogs and cake, free cookies, free drinks and free horseback rides. The wind was blowing but hey, we are not up north because we are pansies. I had on three layers of long underwear and sweats as did the kids.

The event was OK-- it was a good reason to get out. We could afford it. It's a funny thing because something as simple as a $3 hot dog that turns into $15 for a family of five becomes $33 for us. If there is a tip jar, it's even more. $5 horse rides become $35 for the youngest 7 kids. Before you know it, in a family with 11 people, you have spent lots and lots. It's seldom worth it. If the event is something like the fair, we bring our own food and spread out how we will do things.

Anyway, my husband was great but we are seldom on the same page. If I don't hear him, I say, "Hey-- I didn't catch that. Where do you want to meet?" He nods his head and says fine and I repeat myself and say, "Did you get that?" I say it again. He waves me off, "Go!" So I go and he calls me on the cell phones. "Where did you go? I turned around and you were gone!" Brahhhh.

I did something that I never wanted to do. When I was in my teens, I saw a young looking woman with a large family and she was referring to her kids, "I need the Humperdink kids, Humperdink kids, come over here." Her voice wasn't grating, but at the time I wanted to have two kids (after I got married as a virgin at the age of 32-- I'd have those kids at 36 and 38) and I was smugly thinking, "I will never address my children by our last name and -kids! She is so old when she talks like that!" Today, with my 11 year old having to help me herd my 4 and 2 year olds while I chased my 10 year old with special needs who was attempting to hit every automatic door and elevator button that he could find, I was saying, "Crumpet children under the age of 11, come over here by the book signing table" or whatever. Argh. I am turning into one of those people. I realize that it was easier for my kids to make themselves be seen by me when I said that so it was good-- had I not, they could have been lost or off making trouble. I still don't like what I am turning in to. My parents had money and we never had to share and I saw a mother with two kids one day making them share a pretzel at the mall and I was really a bitch in my mind, "Lady! Don't go out if you can't afford it." Now I spread everything out. I am not sure if I am pathetic or if having a big family and reality smacking me saved my soul. I think it saved my soul.

At least as grating as I may have been to other people. no one could say that my children caused any problems. I saw several of my professors who came up to me, "Tea! Are these all the Crumpets?" (In real life I call my children Crumpets. I am always drinking tea. It just seems to all go together. I always have tea and I always have Crumpets.) I introduced them all. The Russian professor said that I can test her on Monday and that she will get their names right because of the Russian names that they have but the others couldn't pronounce them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's all coming together

Today I was in drawing and having the same discussions we had when I was taking acting classes years ago. Every action has a reaction. Every thing has weight. As we drew with charcoal this was explained over and over. The class, four hours long, felt longer than usual. Usually in a drawing class you start to draw and the teacher has to pull you out of your zone to teach something. Today we were learning to depict weight or lack of weight.

I realized something: everyone in that class is insecure. It's not just me. She wasn't praising anyone today as we just weren't getting it. I get annoyed when she tries to identify with us and says things like, "It's hard, isn't it!" For me, difficulty isn't the issue. There are things that you simply have to do a hundred or more times to learn them. Like walking if you don't walk, or riding a bike. Once you get it you wonder why you ever had a problem. When I ice skated there was a jump called a loop jump. I could not get the hang of jumping off the outside edge of my left foot and landing on it. After six months (it took me that long) I landed it and two weeks later I was doing doubles. So it will be with drawing and indicating weight! In a few weeks after getting this, which we all did by the last exercise, we will be going along like any other more advanced drawing course.

Today I feel very fortunate because I was able to get away from focusing on myself and my insecurities and seeing that it's not me per se. We all struggle, we fall down and we get back up.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Singing the Blues

What is it about my art? I am a hick!

I went to music class today and after years of singing in the car and being the ultimate belter of great music, in class, I croaked!

My prof told us that we could sing any song from the book. I glanced over the list and chose "Sing" from Sesame Street. The accompanist started to play and everyone laughed as I threw up my hands, "Wait! This isn't like the Muppets on Sesame Street!" Too much range. I have a vocal range that goes from A to B.

I was perplexed and my prof asked me what was going through my mind. I said, "That you can't keep me here past 1:50 when class gets out." She started laughing and then glared, "I'll keep you in here as long as I want and you'll do as I say!" She was loudly singing with me, "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear. . . just sing! Sing a song!"

I have to laugh at myself. What I was really thinking was that linguistics wasn't so terrible after all, nor is my statistics class. I got to stats a few minutes after singing and did well.

I am not as stupid as I write about myself. This is about how I am feeling. I am not failing anything I like I was failing Russian. The singing is a terrible exposure and I feel quite vulnerable. Such is life. Next week it will be better. I am using my recorder to figure out the beat of the songs we have in the book.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Argh. In drawing class today I found that I do not like drawing. It's just for now. In another three weeks I will be happy again. At the start of summer, the kids and I will be going on walks and I will want to go back to the car after twenty minutes on the trail. By the end of summer I will be thinking that I am capable of walking to the North Pole and my kids will be running up mountain sides and not even thinking they are steep. (They turn into mountain goats over the summer.) Right now I am in this phase artistically. I so badly want to give up drawing and never draw again. Going to class right now is painful. I do not want to stay in it. It is too late to change; I have to "buck up" and hold on.

I have no depth perception. My eyes do not work together, so my vision is not stereoscopic. It happened when I was a baby-- something about a so-called lazy eye that literally drifted way out of range. My parents paid for three or four operations to correct it as best as they could get it. This problem or condition affects how I see things. Both eyes see slightly different things and at a bit of a different angle. They switch off at different times. I cannot shoot consistently, raquet ball is impossible and drawing is a challenge. This being said, my vision had not gotten worse since I was 9 years old probably because they don't get overworked. One gets tired and the other takes over.

Today we had to draw perspective. I turned into a whiny baby. I was literally on the verge of tears-- no, I started to tear up more than once. I want my work to look like it is supposed to look. My teacher is very encouraging and said to me, "I am glad that you have this condition because I want to emphasize to everyone about their own style. You don't chose a style-- you have it because of a U-Haul of experiences and conditions. This will follow you as an artist. You will learn techniques to enhance your style, but this is your artistic fingerprint." She said that I have to do the exercises even though I am not rendering them like they look when drawn by other people. I did want to get out of the lessons. They feel useless but she said that in a couple of classes we will draw the statue that we drew in the first class and we will see a huge change. My style of drawing is thick with chiaroscuro, a heavy combination of lights and darks. I will be drawing my church, a tiny chapel that is dark with light, as my next week's projects which I will post here. My professor says that I have to learn to do what lends itself to my style and smiled when we were discussing ideas and I described it. She said, "Tea will be the artist of light!" My mood lightened considerably. I still shed a few tears. Drawing class was not fun. I was grateful to my professor for saying nice things to me each time she passed my easel. She said that the interesting thing with my use of chiaroscuro is that it adds depth just because it is chiaroscuro.

I'm pretty good at drawing people. I like to draw people. I love to draw birds and plants, too, but they are more up close studies.

When I was in high school I did a lot of public speaking. I was terrible at drama. I was not allowed to cry as a child and this affected me-- not badly, but it made how I delivered acting pieces. I was great at humor and it shocked my teacher when she handed me a very deep piece of work and I read it and had the class laughing. I did not know why I made it sound funny, but it was my dryness. I was very good at humor and got the timing immediately. Of course had you known who my father was, you would know that it was natural. I was invited to direct a play. My family who raised me did not fight; we avoided fights (so ill feelings just got worse!) The play was about a couple fighting. The only thing was, my couple did not fight. They were saying words but I did the blocking so that the audience knew they were fighting, but the couple seemed unaware of it. Every night the whole audience laughed quite hard. The whole, the entire audience-- except for the night that my parents came and they sat in silence, furious with me. Their friends who joined them were laughing. It was obvious that I did not have my fellow actors on that stage-- it was my parents! I didn't know it until my mom's friend mentioned a gesture and said it was my dad when he was mad, and that I'd taught the actress to walk like my mother. It was what I knew. My parents did not speak to me for three days, and when they did, my dad said, "If I say anything will you put it on stage next week?" They were ticked! As it was then with me learning how to act and portray what I knew and choosing what I was good at, I am still doing this in other art forms!

Oh- something that I am happy about! My hair is growing out! My hair since I started having babies in 1996 has been scraggly. Last week I had it permed and colored and my hair stylist didn't need to take off any length. For the first time in 12 years, it is at my shoulders. This may sound like no big deal, but it is. It is getting thicker. My stylist said it's what 2 years of no pregnancies and a good diet does to a woman. I also weigh 150 pound on my 5'6" frame-- but it's curvy, not fat. I'll take the curves and hair in place of the emaciated look that I had going for so many years!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It was 3AM and I was feelin lonely-- NOT!

Today I was at my art store hang-out and talking art with the people who sell stuff and showing them my work in my sketchbook when my art prof came in and looked over my shoulder, "You're getting it!" Drawing class is great-- I just drew a moose skull and started to see deeper as I looked at it-- the weight of the skull, the bumps, the curves. It was really exciting, almost like getting a different set of glasses. The class is all about drawing the figure and we are looking at what supports it. I think that when I die I will donate my skeleton to some art class!

There is something difficult in drawing that I was talking to my store friends about. My prof wants us to do contour drawings but insists that the contours won't look like what we are drawing. I used to figure skate. I did "school figures" which were important to competitions, as much if not more so than the freestyle events. I learned to be exact. I did figure 8's, serpentines and brackets very well and I felt like my body was a pen on ice. When you do school figures, you have perfect alignment with your body-- a shoulder tilted can throw your line off. When I do contour drawings, they look just like the object I am drawing, so I have started doing them with my left hand. The professor is happy with the results, "This doesn't look anything like what you were drawing! See? Now you are getting the feel for it!" I still do them at home with my right hand. I like that I can be so exact with my right hand!

At 3AM I was up working with my clay. I have a big bag of wet clay in my room that the kids and I'm sure my husband as well, cannot resist touching and gouging. Well, early this morning I took it out and was working with my homework and my eldest son came out, "Hi! Whatcha doin'?" He knew quite well what I was doing. I gave him some clay. Gradually the older kids (18, 11, 10, 8 & 8 + 5-- 17, Peaches, was out) were all with me, watching and working on their own projects! So far it all looks great. The kids did a good job and will probably upstage me at art shows should I ever do them. Getting a feel for clay is giving me a new appreciation for 3-D objects.

Way later, my 4 year old son came in and asked for some clay and promptly put it in his mouth and looked at me with surprise, "This doesn't taste like chocolate!" (My clay is terra cotta.)

TeaCup tried putting some on her toes. She must think she is a butterfly. Don't butterflies taste through their feet?

Now I am back to my other schoolwork. I really hate linguistics now. My prof is unfortunately a prince of a man so I can't say he upsets me. I aced every paper in my LING class last term. We do tree diagrams of sentences now-- all the time. The tree keeps on branching. Perhaps I will make myself an eccentric who hates trees. "Argh! They make me think of tree diagrams!"

I am having a Chinese drawing done of my real name to put on my ceramic work.

Watch the video that I just posted

That is a the song that made me love music. I first heard it at 2AM on the radio when I was 12 and woke up and unable to sleep, turned the radio on. It's haunted me. I did not hear it again for over 30 years then one night I wrote a few lines, "I forgave you, couldn't save you drove you from my mind, midnight blue lyrics" and found it in about thirty seconds.

Louise Tucker on

I never did choir in high school-- the teacher didn't want me because I stuttered, but the debate coach did and it's just as well.

I have this CD and I blast it in my car. Louise Tucker also sings a song that I will one day sing for people called, "Only For You." I love it. It makes me happy when I sing it.
Louise Tucker on

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Music, Parking Tags, etc.

I am taking my very first voice class. I went to it yesterday. The professor is the wife of my music appreciation prof from many, many years ago. She is very funny. There are only three or four music/theater majors in the class. The rest of us just like music. We have a dedicated accompanist and everyone seems super nice. We have to sing from the book-- most of the songs are classics but I do not recognize them in sheet music form. We sang O Danny Boy and Amazing Grace yesterday. I got weepy. I have heard those songs before and not paid much attention to them. Yesterday the sadness behind ODB-- the harsh life that was lived in Ireland at the time, that women couldn't do anything when their husbands/boyfriends were conscripted into the armies by the lords-- made me sad. Amazing Grace even got to me-- the professor was singing and while she is a professional and is supposed to do this, she still got to me and I was ready to cry as I sang along. If I were bent toward American Evangelicalism, I'd have thrown myself at the alter right there!

I spent $150 on a parking pass for the one semester. Will I park in the good spots? Most of the time I will drive to town and park where my husband works and either have him drive me over, walk, or take the bus to school. I bought that damned thing for the ten school days that he's out of town and I will have to park at the college. I got the "platinum one" so I can park in a fancy-schmancy garage that is near none of my classes, but I will park in it if there if nothing else is available. I drive a tank and park in no-man's land as it is, but parking is so hard to get on that campus! Next semester, they will charge students $10 for giving a pass out on campus, God help us, if the student doesn't want to have it mailed to them. I hate this college's administration for it's contempt of students. Why is handing out a pass in person such a problem?

My linguistics professor is a big nerd. I love him, but he a tsunami of information. I remember why I failed his classes before. He teaches linguistics like I would-- he gets so wound up that he can't possibly get enough time to teach all that he wants to!

I went to the hospital training. I went to the abbreviated one for professionals. It lasted 300 years-- 3 hours in real time. It felt like 300 years, but it's what you have to see. The flicks of people trying to make something boring watchable. I hurt for the actors. These are the shows with the actors playing new employees, talking to their bosses, "I don't want to rat anyone out, but if I see someone not washing their hands, do I tell someone? Do I talk to them?" The boss says that "A gentle reminder to the person is good, but if they keep not sanitizing, you can bet that someone else has seen it, but you should tell a supervisor anyway and they will discuss it with the group!" It was hand sanitizing, harassment, all the usual stuff that they have to show employees and volunteers. It's critical for them to show and with what my father went through with MRSA before he died-- important, but painful to sit through. I cannot imagine that lasting the 8 hours that they also offer for people with more time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Drawing Class

I love my drawing class. I went in today and one of my friends from Russian was there. She took to wearing a pirate hat and now always wears it. I sat next to her and the art teacher said that we will have nude models and asked if we objected. I said, "I won't object as long as the first nude wears Clara's hat!" We decided that we will ask. The hat is cool!

We had to do an assessment drawing. I have a thing for drawing in charcoal. I love how it feels. I like drawing and feeling it crumble and I press on it, I like hearing the soft sound and I smear and smudge it and put it on the paper. We had to draw a giant grey statue of a frog. Everyone did well. What never ceases to amaze me in these classes is how we can all draw essentially the same object (different views) and they all look so different. I hate how my fellow classmates draw then pick their own work apart, "I could do this better!" "I should have done this differently!" Today we had two hours to do this one monochromatic object. Had she not given us two hours, we'd still be working on it. I happen to like what I do. I don't mind saying what I did wrong, but I have fun drawing. One of my classmates said that my frog has personality. Her frog seemed to be smiling and I told her so. She didn't like it-- she wanted to do this differently and that differently and oh, if she had only brought her smudge sticks!

I think it's funny how I impose myself in my work. I have long legs and the base that my frog was on was elongated. I tend to do that. Artists tend to do that. I like to go to art shows and see how the artists put themselves into their work.

Yesterday my grammar prof recognized me from years ago as did a few other people from the early 1990's who worked in administration. I was stopped and asked, "From where do I know you?" Since they see people all the time, I was flattered that they recognized me. One of the coaches recognized my walk. It's good to be back in school and back there.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I may graduate in December of this year-- that is the preliminary assessment of my classes and school work.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ok, something cute! ~!*Cute Kid Story*!~

This morning (the morning of the 8th) I explained to Boom-Boom what a vegetarian is. They were talking about it on a morning program and she wanted to know.

Dash, my four year old, said, "I am a vegetarian. Me eat cookies and ice cream!"

We went around about this for a bit. He didn't think that vegetarians ate oatmeal because (my 11 year old helped him on this) cows eat oats and we get oats by eating cows.

I made him oatmeal cookies for breakfast, instead. He decided to not be a vegetarian and have oatmeal cookies (with soy ice cream) for breakfast. He's such a little carnivore!

Banging my head against the wall. . .

This past break I didn't have time to study.

I won't be getting my loans for this semester. I signed up for some classes and had to pare them back to the minimal so I can afford them. I still have to get a job.

I thought I'd have extra money left over to get ahead on a few bills. I just want to cry. I should have studied for that test. Lack of time-- the excuse-- doesn't matter. There are some cool jobs on campus. I have to be grateful. I knew I needed to cut back. I didn't want to and was setting myself up for a struggle even with 18 credits of classes I was looking forward to doing. By the end of the semester I would have been hating writing, sick of art and even my muse would be worn out. (My muse can nudge me-- but if I bug her too much she refuses to budge. My muse has tantrums if you can imagine that!)

There are some fun jobs on campus. Perhaps I will get one!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Today is Stephen Hawkins And Elvis' Birthday!

God grant you many more years, Mr. Hawkins (and Elvis-- wherever you are!)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Date with my eldest son

My eldest son turned 10 a bit ago. My mother sent him some birthday money and he wanted. . . POKEMON CARDS. I said we'd go out on a date so we did. We were at one store, the one that I went to on Christmas Eve and they had only what I'd bought him and his brothers. We started to leave and someone came up to me in outside the store and told me of another place to get them where they were $11 instead of $14. I don't mind spending a little extra as the place we were at was nice and Pokemon was a side thing for her to keep the kids away from her antiques! Still, we went to the other place and it was a mecca of collectibles. My son looked at EVERYTHING and stuck to his Pokemon cards. Still, he said, "I wonder what I will collect when I am 15." That was cute-- he knows he will get older and move on to other things.

We went for coffee and they also serve ice cream. I ordered sorbet (I am still sick and a fruit sorbet feels good on my throat) and tea, and he got ice cream. He decided that he wanted hot chocolate, too. He paused as we were talking and said, "You know, there is really no other way to eat ice cream. You have to have it with something hot to drink, even in the summer."

My husband thinks I am strange for eating ice cream with a hot cup of tea, even in the summer and so did Guy Smiley. My husband says that son is artistic and dances to the beat of his own drummer, so the ice cream and hot beverage much be part of the artistic gene. As we ate my son complained about everyone and everything. I used to be put off by this with the kids but I think it's a stage & age thing. I am beginning to get better at listening. How do the first few kids come out OK when we have to learn with the older ones? Why aren't the younger ones perfect?

We went to my favorite clothing store and he actually shopped with me. One of my friends owns the place and she wanted me to try of some new things and I was happy to oblige her. Guy got there and found a "secret stair case." It's not really secret-- she just curtains it off and it's behind something. He would go up there and perch and look into the mall and not be seen and then come down when she told him to see my outfit. We called him Owl Guy.

The clothes were great but I am gaining weight big time. A pooch on my abdomen, pouching hips. Susan saw me start to obsess, "It's nothing that control top pantyhose can't fix and I'd better not hear you complain. You've had nine children and you earned those imperfections!"

I said I was starting a dance class to fix them and she was adamant. "Do not dance to loose weight. Dance because you love to dance and ignore the pounds coming off and they will stay off." Oh-- I have hated women who obsess over their weight and she said I was starting to turn into one of them. I won't do that twice with her-- she is very nice but she was blunt about her disdain for my comments about myself! "Your sparkling conversation and wit will be crushed by obsessing over your weight and discussing your diet. Don't be a woman who does that."

My own birthdays mean little to me-- 20 was hard for some reason. My children getting older? THAT makes me feel old. When Tiger turned 18 last year I was blue. Guy turned 10-- I was pregnant with him when I married my husband and moved into our house. He was born a few months later. He is a marker. Ten years old! The time has flown. In a few days I will be 39. Right after that another son will turn eight, then right after that, the eight year old will turn 9. They like to discuss their ages all the time.

The cold is still here. This stuff in my throat-- ugh, I thought I would drown last night. I hope we are all over it before school resumes.

Friday, January 04, 2008

My gown. . .

Today my daughter who hates to shop came with me to get a black dress. It's for the grand opening. I hope I do not fill this out for too long-- I really want to get smaller again and the store owner and I are on friendly terms-- she told me, "You will buy the $72 dress because it is perfect for you." I lack much money but there is me-- wanting what I can't have. I tried on dresses that were for 19 year olds that my almost 19 year old balked that I'd even try on. i put on dresses that have so much tulle that they literally stand alone. The store owner kept saying, "You don't have a black dress. The fabric is the only black I've seen you look good in. Go back to the $72 dress."

I tried on dresses for 3 hours. I left with the $72 dress. It was perfect for me.

The dress has looked good on many people but the store owner said it was destined for me. It really sets off my figure. I felt confident in it. It moves well with me.

I still want an ao dai-- but there is no way I can get it in time.

I had fun with my daughter. She confounds the bridal shop owner, who whispered to me, "Does she enjoy being here?" My daughter had a sports magazine with her and was looking at that while I changed. Tiger was there to help me find a dress. There was no discussion-- they either looked good or not. She is more like a guy when she shops which is highly unusual but makes for deciding on anything easy as there is no discussion.

We came home and I put the gown on. I look good in clean, simple lines. My eight year old said, "Mom-- you look better than you did in the pageant!" My husband said that the gown played up my small waist and made my weaker features (that he'd not name!) less. All the girls loved it. The other boys agreed. I didn't see it as jaw-dropping stunning but it was as far as I could tell.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Tight Lacing

I am about to start corseting. This isn't a fetish for me-- I have a 28" waist and it is just too much. I decided to start corseting when I was looking for a $50 one (not knowing what they will cost-- haha) and a pretty, cheap confection at Fredericks of Hollywood had in it's description, "Not for tight lacing." Hmmm. I decided to look "tight lacing" up. Getting through the stories that are hopefully fiction-- eek-- I found a legitimate site called Romantasy. Ann, the lady who runs it, got into it because as I recall her telling me, she needed a medical corset and they were not very pretty and she went from there and has been in business for 18 years as of 3 January. (Happy Birthday, Ann! May God grant you many more years of success!)

As fate would have it, the corset that I am having her make me is white duck on one side and black duck on the other-- probably not unlike her first ones! It's a Bella made by Sharon of Altered Thyme. I will be getting it very soon.

Fortunately for me, Ann knows more than I do and has guided me from going over-the-top, " I want a mini skirt in denim!" to helping me realize that wanting to jump head first into this could ruin my chances of success with it. The Bella goes under my bust to right above my pelvic bone, shaping my abdomen or "tummy." I'll start out a few hours a day and work up. I won't wear it to school because I will be dancing and won't have time to remove it. It's expensive and I also don't want to lose it. This is how you get started! These are some of Ann's off the peg corsets. Very tempting for up the road!

My husband is cool about me waist training. The first thing he asked when I told him of it was, "What are your limits?" We looked at some women who have done this who are almost into self mutilation about it. I want to have a noticeable and slender waist, but I don't want to be freaky. 22", if I get back to that, is the limit. I am at 28" right now-- the result of 81+ months of pregnancies, 12 conceptions and nine births. (Three miscarriages.) I read of some women who tell their husbands when they lace them up in the morning that they won't unlace until their husbands unlace them at night. My husband said, "If I lace you up, how easily can you undo it if you can't breathe?" He remembers too well my pregnancies where I wasn't getting enough oxygen and doesn't find that romantic at all and he wants me to have air. Air!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Lovely evening. . .

Tonight my eldest, who is a clattering of noises good and bad wherever she goes, bought her brothers sleds for their January birthdays. They went to the backyard where we have a small hill. The hill had very little snow as it is often wind-blown. The eldest eight kids were out there putting snow on the new sleds (the littler ones were scooping with their mittened hands!) and TeaCup was "supervising." I loved hearing them laugh and yell going down the hill. One of the sleds was a blow-up one that spins as you go down; TeaCup would not get off this sled. She looked like she was sitting in a hot tub. No one minded because she is little and they went down with her each time. It lasted about an hour until it ran into a plastic sled. We will take it back tomorrow because it shouldn't have done that so easily! The kids were out there howling at the moon. I hope the neighbors don't get worried. I bite.

Now they are loudly making hot chocolate and laughing. Tiger is wearing a t-shirt that says "WildCats" on it-- it's from a school in Arizona. The kids are teasing her that she likes High School Musical. Corbin Bleu who is the dreadlocked guy on there with a high pitched voice who plays basketball and is the most annoying, well, the kids have paired her up with him. Guy Smiley, who is almost ten, just said she should "make a baby with him!" He is laughing so hard and saying that "My nephew's first words will be [mocking CB] 'You wanna play the Wildcats? Are you maaan enough?'!" She just said that with them both being short it will be a munchkin baby.

And now they are singing Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkle but working her and Corbin into it. "Corbin get up and runs down the hall and he is in his underwear running with a basket ball. Oh T-Tiger, you're breaking his heart!" The lyrics get worse with words that sound like "fart" and armpit hair. I don't know if I have poets in there or what!

Will it be like this as they get older? I hope they always like each other like they do now.

Drunk on Fashion

I found out that the grand opening that I have been invited to is formal. With problems of weight gain that either have to do with my "female organs" or just not exercising, I do not fit into my clothes that are form fitting. Thus, I have nothing to wear. I also do not know if formal means black tie or pretty dresses and suits. It's easy to over dress where I live. In fact, an invitation can say "black tie" and your host and his closest pals may be in jeans and a jacket and a black tie. I went to a black tie affair glitzed out in a red flapper-style dress and rhinestones only to get teased by other adults over it who knew the hosts better and knew they'd not be in anything fancy. I looked better than anyone else and enjoyed myself anyway. (This isn't Palm Springs by any stretch of the imagination!)

I just found a site that sells ao dais-- these are the national dress for women in Vietnam. I am a red headed person of Irish extraction. I have ten Japanese jackets of different fabrics and styles and I love Asian fashion. In fact, I do a lot of Japanese and Chinese brush work. But these outfits-- they are conservative yet flowing. I can never do one justice like the stunning Vietnamese models do, but I will probably buy one of these for this event and buy a few more. These say, "I do not care that the event is formal, I am an artist and you can't tell if I dress like this or if I am dressing up." Where I live, you can go to a Broadway play and be standing next to people with snow gear on because they flew in from the bush to see the play.

Check a few of these out-- as soon as I get paid I will try to rush one of these up. I am so happy that I found this store!

This is the one I fell in love with on E-bay but it's a size four-- I am twice the size and a size eight! (Not bad by any means-- I am smaller than average but a size four is TINY.) This is by Cynthis Bui, a designer whose page is not up!


These are not even my favorites-- I just like them all! Clothes like this move with a woman. They make us look ethereal.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Alcohol and Tea do not mix

Last night I had two White Russians around 4pm then a couple of sips of wine at midnight. I am not able to sleep. My husband is blissfully snoring and unaware of my discomfort. I'm tired but wired and I cannot make myself fall asleep. If I get up I will awaken everyone.

When I need to take a nap and TeaCup, Dash and Boom-Boom (usually one of the three) has to lay down with me because they are not listening to "play quietly so mama can rest" they will lay here and stretch and look at me. . . put one leg into the air and then another. Open my eyelids to tell me that they are ready to get up. . . the thought crosses my mind to do this to my husband but I won't. I envy his sleep in a good way! (I also want to keep my marriage intact.)

2007 was a great year. I look forward to it building up to a fantastic 2008. I'm really excited about what will be happening in the coming years. So often with having children you can forget about time flying. You see it, but it's all about you being pregnant or not pregnant and the house falling apart around you while you go from making sleek gourmet meals to attract your husband to making macaroni and cheese because you just don't have the time to do anything else. (Fortunately I encountered my blogging friends who inspire me with trips and events so I decided to make myself create again!)

Sunlight is coming back to my state and in a month I will feel it. In two months winter will be almost gone. In three-- I will be lamenting having no money for my yard! I will be excited as the birds come back, tell my husband how I wish I had time for falconry and we will take the kids on long walks in our area.

I may also get paid for teaching some art classes.

My dad died at the end of 06. I said I'd be a doctor and find a cause for cancer and we were looking at medical schools online in his last days. He just wanted me to get my degree. My dad drove me nuts with having horses that were too good for his children to ride. I realized that I wasn't sharing my art and in the last year I have let my own children use my expensive art supplies and I've bought them cheaper ones where I could. I learned from what I think were his mistakes.

I had wanted to learn Russian and do a lot of things that I am having to let go of, knowing that they may one day be great hobbies but for now there is no time.

My kids who once had special needs are taking off-- still a little slow, but they are growing faster. My kids without special needs are freaking brilliant.

My husband and I are getting closer. Relationships change with time. We are getting out of exhausted parents mode and having more fun with the kids as they get older. TeaCup is probably going to be a bit spoiled. She gives orders and has a way with pointing her index finger, turning her cute little hand down at the wrist and and closing her eyes as if to say, "I have spoken." Then she turns on a heel and walks away. I pick her up and give her kisses. Her little gesture may one day get annoying but for now I don't mind. I have a four year old who is destined to be either a lawyer or a philosopher. They are all fun. My 18 year old is making me understand why my parents were worn out from my older sisters by the time they got to me and I just hope I can hang in there!

New Year

My husband and children and I just celebrated the new year. We ate and watched movies.

If I could do an ideal-in-my-mind New Year celebration, I would go out on a hike at 10 with the kids and husband and various friends, get to where I wanted to be at 11 and get a fire going then celebrate and hike back to my car by 2. It would be a nice hike, nothing strenuous and I would know the trail well. I would be able to wear a long, heavy skirt and long underwear and heavy boots. The weather would be cold but not worse than -10 and there would be no chill factor. That may one day happen for us.

Tonight was still good-- I fried chicken and made some great side dishes. We ate late and then had three cakes to choose from and everyone had slices of each. Tiger canceled at the last minute to do some stuff with her boyfriend and I was irritated but hey, we have enough food
for us for leftovers. Of course. . . she may show up with friends tomorrow so I need to brace myself!