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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Craftmageddon or a party for a 13 year-old

So, yeah, that sweet little girl you met on this blog, well, the traitor went and grew up into a teenager. Thirteen years old. Each time now when someone asks how old my children are and I say my daughter is thirteen, I, without fail, get a two-note chuckle followed by, "Just wait," in response. Wait? Wait for what?

I can only imagine. Anna was born with a special dose of attitude I call Annatude. Two priceless examples: The girl is, oh, six or so and I reprimand her for leaving the water running in the kitchen. Her response, hands on hips (which has since become a family joke), "Where's your proofidence?!" Proofidence. Right. The second example is when the girl was about eight, I think. I presented some pretty bare boned facts about her needing to come along while I ran some errands. "Not in my world. And right now, I'm in my world."

Living with that world in my world takes a special kind of patience and humor, I think. The girl has had the eye-roll and the scoff down pat for some time now. Her older bother and I have toyed with the idea of an phone app to interpret most of these scoffs: Heavy sigh = "I don't want to eat dinner, I'm Skyping with Ellie", tongue click + short grunt = "my brother is an idiot", growl = "my mother will never understand me, never!", low-pitched grunt = "my dad is so embarrassing." Needless to say, Anna did not find this amusing. Not in her world.

I guess teenage girls are just somewhat difficult to please, am I right? So, for her birthday party, I want to give her what she wants, exactly what she wants. Overall, she wanted "A small group (check). Everything black and white (if that's what you want). Crafts (what kinds of crafts, dear? grunt + burst of breath through front teeth = "don't ask me--you're the craft expert. Not too complicated. And not stupid").

I'll admit, I did become a bit of a Pinterest victim, but the four little projects this "craft expert" choose worked well for girls this age, I think. There was a well-timed 50%-off coupon in my inbox, so I had some custom mugs made up at Zazzle with each of the girls' names and then "you + me = awesome" (see the "we" there in red? Get it?).

Before the party, I tested different paint pens, Sharpies and the like. I found that puffy (fabric) paint, believe it or not, worked about the best. It didn't scratch off and survived a few bouts of hand washing in hot soapy water.

Next, the girls painted some wooden picture frames with chalkboard paint (I know, I know, chalkboard paint is so Pinterest 2010. But when black-and-white is all you're given to work with...). Before painting the girls used stick-on letters to add their names or messages, which were then peeled off once the paint dried.

And lastly, I had the ladies make two different kinds of scrap memory books. The girls can add photos and things to these later. These memory books, I think, were the biggest hit with the gals.

We made these round kind that open up to display (How-To LINK). I pre-cut all the papers like this...

And then they made these little square squash book ones. These are so easy and fun to make (How-To LINK).

I own a random glass chandelier. Because I do. I take it out of the garage and hang it in the yard when things need to get fancy. I added these tissue tassels. I haven't seen tissue tassels on backyard chandelier on Pinterest yet. So there! I hope that makes up for the overuse of chalk.

I also fell victim to a Martha Stewart butterfly punch. Easy to do. Anna and I made these black and white butterfly garlands on fishing line and hung them from black paper parasols.

Do this: Make homemade fruit pops and serve them in tumblers. Use fancy straws in case you blog. Pour French lemonade over them: So fancy! (this mom poured French champagne over hers, hee-hee).

Oh, for all my whining, I love my baby girl. When she's happy, I'm happy. And she was happy with her birthday party. Happy, happy, giggly, giggly, sweet, sweet, hugs and kisses for me happy.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Copy cats

Oh! Hello there...

I have mused in the past about the cat/man divide and how I prefer to maintain this boundary. Again, it is nothing personal, it is just the chemical warfare that reeks havoc with my sinuses and eyes and lungs that is cats. But again, whatever I want or need is of no matter to cats. If our feline overlords decide that they like you, then like you they will and you will like it (say that like Colonel Klink)!

For some time, a black and white spotted cat and a grey and white tiger striped cat decided they liked us. Or at least our yard.

Shortly thereafter, one very early morning, before the sun came up, I stepped outside my front door and -- zoom! zoom! zoom! -- three tiny exact copy cats of these two big cats ran right over my feet!


Oh boy.


We have kittens. Strike that: As I just explained, we don't have kittens. Kittens have us.

Fortunately, the kittens also have Mama Cat watching them. She is doing a fine job, too. But kittens!?

Thank you, Internet, for giving me a few tips on the situation. We are offering them bits of food and we sit as close as we can, so that the cats will hopefully become socialized. I hope they will become trusting enough to let us touch them, so that at least we can get them spayed or neutered. Best case scenario, someone will be willing to take them in. For now, they seem pretty young still and they are probably best staying by Mama Cat. Dad Cat is actually not such a deadbeat and shows up once in awhile, too. I hope he's not just being a Tom Cat. I don't need more copy cats.

Anyway, here I'll let the kittens work their cuteness voodoo on you, too...

This one I call Braveheart, because she has the most courage.

This one we call Meow Zedong, because he's kind of a dictator, bossing his sisters about.

And this one. This one is so shy and stays back and lets her brother and sister do all the exploring. We just call her Grey One or PC2 (Pretty Cat, Too).


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