Saturday, November 18, 2017

Doll Town

I walked down the aisle of our little library between the tables
and saw tiny Alyssa, standing over the recycle tub,
boldly cutting out four original paper dresses at one time.
The normally shy girl with long dark hair and big dark eyes,
had a look of fire in her eyes as the scraps of florescent yellow,
green, orange and pink paper fell away from her masterpieces.
I said, "Look girls, Alyssa has created a new technique for dressmaking."
All I could think was, "Lisa and I have birthed the next Liz Clairborne."
Once a month on a Friday afternoon our school holds elective classes
taught by parent volunteers. The two dozen classes range from coding
to cooking and all points in between.  Then there is Lisa and me.
I grew up with two sisters making paper dolls and dresses and ended up
with two sons. Lisa loves to sew and has two daughters, so she liked
the idea of running a paper doll class with me in our library.
We had eight six year old girls and one nine year old girl.
Near the end of our ninety minute class, our nine year old Gabriella
said, "I really like this class. It's nice to be with the little kids.
It reminds me of when I was young."
We started our class making little houses to store the dolls in.
I'd found a stack of old manilla folders in the workroom and
used the paper cutter to remove the tabs and add roofs.
The girls wrote their names and the year at the top and
were excited to use rulers for the first time to make straight
windows and doors.  Gabriella said, "I'm going to use my
math skills and make my windows perfect one inch squares."
My sister and I had found the card stock paper dolls down at
Michael's Arts and Crafts store. They had boy and girl dolls.
I had scrounged the staff work room for colorful recycled paper
and put my sample house and dresses and play sets up on the
white board to show the girls the importance of long tabs.
I had photocopied one dress and play set to get the girls started.
I introduced the class with the book, "10,000 Dresses"
and "The Princess and the Pea." In this version the princess
and characters were stylized paper dolls in paper ballgowns.
Once their houses were made, they put faces on their dolls
and they were off and cutting.  Some of our recycled paper
had old flyers on the back for Halloween so the girls used
the cool orange with owls for some nice fancy dresses.
I was delighted to see a few tiny wolf logos cut from
school newsletters taped to dresses for Cascade school pride.
When Alyssa taped a piece of white paper to beard her boy doll
and proclaimed him Santa, a flurry of Christmas-wear began.
Holiday dresses, play suits, pajamas, Santa suits...
Even black paper boots were taped to tiny feet.
When I asked the girls if they wanted the class again they
got very excited and told us everything they wanted to make
in future classes. Paper pets, food, furniture, cafes, barns
and little Haley stunned me when she said,
"I want to make a little house and a little doll for my
big doll to play with."  The little blue-eyed blond went on to
say,  "I want to make a doll town."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Birthday Lunch With My Kid

Yesterday I was sitting in my grubbies & saw
Troy leaving in his Chevy Blazer.
I leaned over the deck railing & yelled,
"Where's my birthday card?"
He turned red & waved cash at me.
I went down & he had TWO $20.00 bills in his hand.
I took it and said,
"Where do you want to go for my birthday lunch, I'm loaded."
 We went to Jay's cafe where he had a ham & cheese omelette,
sausage, bacon, hash-browns, pancakes,
a double bacon/blue cheese cheeseburger & French fries.
I had the special & the bill was $33.00
& I left a $5.00 tip.
Birthday cash from kid=$2.00,
Time With Kid=Priceless.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Idea of Fashion Is...

My idea of fashion is to cover myself enough
to stay out of jail for indecent exposure.
One day, my bff Brenda was telling me how she just bought some
"motivation jeans."
She bought jeans two sizes too small to motivate her into losing weight.
She told me she has over a dozen pairs of jeans ranging from
"motivation wear"
to "holiday fat girl wear."  She loves clothes.
I'm lucky to toss a clean muu muu over my head most days in summer
and sweats the rest of the time.
It's not like I'm not vain though.
Four times a year I get my hair done
and the annual cost is more than my first car.
Add the full face wax the same day
and you're nearly at the down payment of our house!

(My first car was a faded army green 1965 Volvo sedan with 250,000 miles
which I bought at Ravenna motors in 1976 for $500.00 )

Monday, October 2, 2017

My Letter From Barack Obama 2017

Before I tuck my letter from Barack in his biography book tomorrow, this is the contents.
I still miss him and how he wanted us to be united not divided.
I think he was the best president of my lifetime.
I will always think of him as a great thinker, eloquent speaker and compassionate man.
The letter was typed on heavy cream colored paper with the gold-leaf presidential seal at the top.

Dear Gretchen:

 Thanks for your kind message. Michelle and I have been touched by the words of support we've received from Americans across our county, and I appreciate the time you've take to write.
I'm proud of the progress we've made together. Thanks to the participation and resolve of everyday Americans like you, our county is a better and stronger place today than it was before I took office.    
None of our accomplishments were inevitable-they were the result of people from every background and station in life stepping forward and embracing the important responsibilities of citizenship. As long as we continue working in common effort and assume the inherent goodness in one another, I'm confident our brightest days will always lie ahead. 

Again, thank you for writing. 
It was the honor of my life to serve as your President, and while there are many milestone moments we will always remember, it was my conversations with people like you that kept me going every single day. 
They've stayed with me, and they always will. 

Thanks for everything-I wish you the very best. 


Barack Obama

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Chicken Hat

I listened intently as my ninety-seven year old friend Ruthie
told me about a tiny Bantam chicken she had forty years ago.
"Anytime I went out in the yard, Blueberry would hop
up on my shoulder to ride around the yard with me."
Hmmm.  My son Teddy had just picked out two little hens
for his twenty-first birthday. When the farmer kid picked up
the Little Red Hen out of the mass of chickens in the dark barn,
I fell in love.  She looked EXACTLY like the hen in the book
I loved as a little girl. "Who will help me bake the bread?"
The kid only had one other Bantam and she was gorgeous.
We were driving home on the hot August day from Fall City
with the top down on my little Mustang and I asked Teddy what
he wanted to name his chickens.  He said, "I like Bonnie."
I said, "Well, if you name The Little Red Hen Bonnie,
may I call her bff Connie?" He just smiled and nodded.
So back to me wanting chickens riding on my shoulders.
I pondered draping worms over my shoulders to entice them,
but attaching worms to myself seemed problematic.
Every night for a week I would take turns gently holding
and petting Bonnie or Connie.  I was petting Connie and
Bonnie walked over and looked up at her bff.  I patted my lap
and she hopped up. I petted them while they sat side-by-side
"talking" and then Connie got up and hopped up on my shoulder.
Bonnie started staring at my face.  I was certain she was
going to peck my eyes out because I didn't think she liked me.
Right as I closed my eyes, I could feel her wings brush my face
and the next thing I knew I felt a gentle set of claws holding
my scalp and a slight weight on the top of my head.
I was delighted with my Chicken Hat.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Fat Free Popcorn Made Me Fat!

It's my dentist's fault that I gained five pounds last week!
I got the call he is moving and the only appointment available
is two weeks before school lets out. Stupid tooth implant.
My principal is NOT happy.
And I'm worried sick. I'm terrified of the dentist.
The last implant two years ago had me flying the couch for
two weeks. Every time I sat up my head rang for a half hour.
I eat when I'm nervous and with Terry out of town
and not entertaining me it got worse.
I gained ten pounds surviving the coldest winter in
one hundred years so I bought an air popper popcorn popper
but it eliminated ALL flavor. My shredded nerves had me eating non-stop.
I thought I was so smart to buy the glass popper from Amazon.
It worked great until I decided a half teaspoon of butter would
make ten cups of flavorless popcorn taste better.
It DID! I soothed my nerves eating eighteen cups of popcorn a night.
But, a half cup tasted even better and next thing I knew
I had eaten a pound of butter on my popcorn in one week.
I got stuck trying to zip my favorite Route 66 dress over
my back fat yesterday and had to ask Maureen to fold my
fat flaps in and zip me up. UGH.
My fat free popcorn made me fat!
AND, I still have to go to the dentist.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mayomo Mi Tee-shirt Porfavor? Most Embarrassing Moment

My face was bright red as I approached the first table
in the Chitzanitza shopping plaza.
"Mayomo Mi Tee-shirt Porfavor?" I said to the small lady.
I held up my dollars and her face cracked into a huge smile.
"When my husband drove over the speed bump the gas gauge
showed a full tank of gas. You see it had only been stuck on E
and so we didn't need to use our money for gas so I can buy back
all my souvenirs which I had returned for the money from you
because that was the last of our cash and we needed to get to the ferry."
I don't think she knew what I said but the younger lady next to
her did, especially when I repeated myself and pantomimed
what had happened.  Soon the one hundred ladies were
rolling on the floor laughing as they rapidly repeated the
story to the stalls next them and it went around the whole plaza.
After a long drive from Tulum to the pyramid and exploration
of Chitzanita, Terry and I had gone to the plaza and bought a
hundred dollars worth of tee-shirts, mini chacmools and onnxy pyramids.
Unfortunately it was our LAST cash so when we got to the parking
lot and Terry saw the gas tank empty he had a fit.
We got out in the parking lot and were shouting at each other
when the helpful policeman came by. Terry went on and on about
how someone had siphoned off all our gas so he went for a gas can
and put in enough to get us to the gas station a mile away.
Then Terry backed out and went over a speed bump
which jarred the gas tank back to 3/4 full.
He turned to me and pleadingly said, "Honey, can you please go back
and buy all our souvenirs from the ladies?"
I told him we could go together but he said he was too embarrassed.
So, I swallowed my pride and went back and re-bought all our souvenirs,
much to the delight of our Mexican vendors.