fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And speaking of hive minds

I wish we could keep them. Bees are just cool. But they also might decide to hive in the chimney one day and maybe someone would be allergic to their stings.

But I've been reading this Internet doo-hickey and bee keeping a single hive is not especially labor intensive. And imagine the honey and wax we'd have!

I don't think these are the Africanized ("killer") bees. They are rather docile, even when I tried to get them to leave on their own with some smoke. Did you know that Africanized bees may have aggressiveness as a gene? Makes you wonder about nature and nurture.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Jackitat (Jack habitat)

I've had two maids quit on me. My strategy to keep the house clean and tidy myself is to "decorate". The eighty bucks or so that I'd spend on the housekeeper every week, I use to treat myself with things to the fancy up the house. The thing needn't cost eighty bucks (in fact, it better not) and really can be anything: Some yard sale tchotchka that wanders into the house and I proudly display on an end table...for which the scattered papers and dusty surface simply do not it justice! The aesthete in me awakens the very reluctant hausfrau and already I'm dusting and polishing and filing... Whatever works, right?

Jack's room had gotten to quite a state. It was just a boy storage unit, basically: A place to store the kid and his paraphernalia between the times he was at school, the beach and soccer practice, replete with industrial wire shelves and warehouse grade storage boxes.

To keep the boy from running away to Maui, at least until he's graduated high school, we've tried to bring a little bit of the island into his room. Treading lighter, all furnishings were found through Craig's List, local Ebay or on the side of the road. The room needs to do quadruple duty for this eleven-year-old: A place to sleep, study, store everything and occasionally roost with the rest of his flock of tweeny groms whilst they waste fleeting, precious youth on video games.

This teak-veneered wall unit? $175 Craig's list (boo yeah!). And the old suitcase? Found it on trash day. The thrill of the hunt ... when spring cleaners peek out from their winter hideaways only for us scavengers to pounce on our prey ...

Rad vintage movie poster test print and old surfing contest placard. And an old industrial task light in groovy green. I rewired it myself *pats uneletricuted self on back*.

Giant puffer fish, you don't scare me! Well, maybe a little.

The steel tank desk is old Northrup inventory, left on the side of the road. The desk has a faux wood Formica top and is kinda fugly, but oh so practical. Aqua spray paint helps a little. Not a lot, though, so it shall be a place to stick stickers. A sticker sanctuary. The chair is a General Fireproof tanker, also abandoned. It rocks my world. It rocks a little too much, but, for the price, how can I complain? I stitched up a pillow with a cloth map of Waikiki.

Local poster companies: The Poster List and Two Rabbits Studios.

I had the daybed (found locally for less than a couple of C-notes) reupholstered. I also stitched up some slipcovers/fitted sheets from soft decor-weight cotton twill (Amy Butler's "Sun Spots") to sleep on. This next thing, I also did when I made the kids' crib sheets: I stitched a layer of rubberized flannel to the fitted sheets. The rubber keeps the slipcover from, um, slipping and, as a recent bout of stomach flu reminded me, protects the mattress underneath from bouts of stomach flu. If you've never made your own fitted sheets and duvet covers, they are really simple to make. Really.

I stitched up that pillow with the state flag of Hawaii.

This room is difficult for a boy and his flock to habitat, because it is (1) small (and the house is small--most everything that is his has to go in here. We don't have the luxury of basements out here) and (2) has four doors. Four doors: (1) room door, (2) bathroom door, (3) closet door and (4) the stupid door leading to the kitchen. We never use the stupid door, so here it is covered with a wall mural. It is the one place that I did not maintain the challenge of the utmost kind in this room.

Here, I stitched up another throw pillow. "808" is the area code for Hawaii. That photo palm tree material was taken from a tea towel from Anthropologie.

This could be my favorite chair yet. I'm kinda chair crazy. You will see more of this one on this blog, I'm sure. $75 on Ebay ... and reupholstered for another $200 ... still ... I'm not sure, but I'm going to convince myself the chair was made by Witco and came straight out of Elvis' Jungle Room. I can do that. If it's not, please don't tell me. I'm happiest here in my delusions.

And my last challenge, something for the hive mind: What do you think? What drapes? Should I use the swirly orange and white material? Or the lovely greeny-aqua cephalopods? Or something else entirely?


Hello friends!

I've been slow to post to this blog recently. And I apologize. This week, I actually have a good excuse: Both my computer and back-up computer are in for repairs. Anna got a shiny new MacBook for her birthday and I'm sneaking in a blog post using her machine ... shhhhh ... our secret, okay?

I'm finishing up fixing up Jack's room. It started out as just as a dust-allergy induced bout of utter frustration about the state of the boy cave and morphed into a full-fledged decorating spree to create a functional, fun Jack-habitat. I'm a bit addicted to Apartment Therapy and their mantra of "one room at a time"... one room at a time ... one room at a time... ommmmm ... I'm also trying to hold to "the challenge of the utmost kind" and I'm doing pretty good. Except for this wall mural thing. Sort of blew the challenge there. Another secret just between you and me, okay-dokey?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The corner of her smile

I won't make a big political statement about co-sleeping. For this family, it sort of just happened. With every intention to Ferberize the children on the very best crib mattress available atop the finest organic cotton sheets and with early-childhood-development knicknacks placed pedologically perfectly...yeah, well, this nursing mom and her babes would conk out and, pretty soon, it's years later and I wake up and there are still little legs and arms hiding in the folds of the big feather duvet. While my girl starts out the night in her own bed, often, by early morning, I barely notice that she has nestled up in the crook of my arm. I'm not certain where mothering stops and smothering starts, but I will admit that I treasure the moments when I feel her heavy, slow breath on my shoulder.

She turned nine years old today. I doubt that she will sneak into the crook of my sleeping arm much longer. I still see my infant in the curve of her eye, but more and more, I am recognizing a young lady in the corner of her smile. I hope we are doing the best we can for her. I want to do the things that will make joy and adventure and love and health and friendship and creativity and discovery and wonder part of her everyday. Today, it was a new dress for her. Thank you, baby girl, for inspiring this new dress for you. It was a joy to make it for you.

It has been such an honor and pleasure being your mom.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Probably more of a Facebook kind of post...

...but just look at how cute my cappuccino is! It's a bunny. A cappucino bunny and bunny ears? Oh c'mon. Tough crowd.


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