.....and other random stuff......

Friday, August 31, 2012


Stuffies, softies, puppets, a rose by any other name………
I like the name ‘Stuffies’.
Ever since this guy showed up in my sketchbook he’s been begging to become three dimensional.
I finally obliged him!
So now he can sit with me at my desk and pester me there!

I used printable fabric that I put through my Epson printer. I don’t like how dull the color came out. If I do another I think I’ll draw directly onto white fabric with my Copics. I would like the color to ‘pop’ more. I also added a little free motion stitching. (I will practice next time before working on the actual project, lol.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012


When the boys were little we used to play with blocks a lot!
I was thrilled!
(BigBrother wasn’t always the best at sharing his toys, which made them all the more desirable in my eyes.)
Plus, boy toys are really cool!
Trucks and cars and blocks and things that make noise!
The best part of playing with blocks is building elaborate palaces and forts and then knocking them down!
So when the boys got to the age where knocking blocks over was fun I was right there with them!
We had several sets of blocks.
Wooden blocks, cardboard blocks, Legos. And we added to them with odd pieces of wood that we painted, which were leftover from Husband’s assorted projects. (There is no such thing as too many blocks!)
We would dump them all out on the floor in the living room and build intricate cities and neighborhoods, castles and bridges.
After all our hard work we’d become Godzillas (in Mickey slippers!) and demolish the whole thing!
Good times!

I kept the blocks we made (I’m sentimental that way, lol.)
I think they fit the ‘shelter’ theme, don’t you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chapter One, I Am Born

(Forgive the Dickens rip-off!)

BigBrother and my father came to pick us up at the hospital.
I was put in the backseat in a basket.
My mother said to BigBrother, “This is your little sister, Robin.”

“ROBIN! That’s a BIRD’S name!” was his reply.

A few days later he inquired when they were going to take me back to the hospital!

And I’ve been a thorn in his side ever since.

(Just doin' a little sis's job!! LOL)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


BigBrother has voiced a desire to share some of the stories he remembers about me.
Although I’m sure they are not the tales I would want to disclose, I do believe he should have equal time.

To quote Voltaire, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”

So if you would like to hear his side of the story, leave a comment of encouragement!

(Note to BigBrother: I retain the right to proofread all submissions! {and keep in mind who is going to take care of you in your old age!} LOL)

Monday, August 27, 2012


BigBrother used to like to scare me when we were kids.

He would tell me about the monster under my bed who had long elastic arms that could reach around corners and down stairs.

Or the one that would stick a finger up out of the drain while you were showering and feel around for your foot. 
Both ready to pull you down into the dark and terrifying  monster underworld!

To this day (as a rational, thinking adult, lol) I still can’t dangle an arm or leg over the side of the bed.

And when I shower, I always keep an eye on the drain!

You know, just in case!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Random Thoughts

I was born in the wrong era. 

Or maybe I just want to time travel. 

I love that I was born at a time when women were moving into their own. Fighting for and winning rights.

But I also think I would have liked to live in my mother’s era. 

Or maybe my grandmother’s. Tin Pan Alley, Gershwin, Cole Porter…..

Or maybe I just long to live in an old fashioned Hollywood movie with a great soundtrack! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Carrot Seed

I must have been about four years old.
It was before I learned to read.
My paternal grandmother came for a visit.
I was playing with my records when she asked me what my favorite one was.
I said ‘The Carrot Seed’, and I played it for her.
Then she asked me to play some of the other records, naming the ones she wanted to hear.
She said to my mother how amazing it was that I knew which records were which if I couldn’t read the labels.
I just looked at my mother in amazement that my grandmother could really be that stupid.
The vinyl records were all different colors!
So of course I knew which was which!

Years later my mother searched and searched for a copy of that record for me as a gift. (This was before the internet.)
She never did find a copy of the record but she found an out of print picture book of the story. I still have it.

Does anybody else remember this song/story?

Take a stroll down memory lane and have a listen!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Son2 and the Tissues

Where the hell do these things come from?

Uh oh, busted!

Am I in trouble?

So, are you gonna tell me where they come from or what?

(Dig those stylin' Mickey slippers! LOL)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Bully

Son1 is a reserved soul.
Maybe it’s being firstborn, maybe it’s that whole ‘nature’/nurture’ argument, I don’t know, but he was always cautious, thoughtful, quiet and polite.

He was the perfect target for the neighborhood bully.

One day he came home without his bicycle helmet.
We asked him where it was and he was very evasive saying he must have lost it somewhere.
He also seemed unusually nervous about it.
After a few more questions he started to cry and the truth came out.
Paulie had taken it away from him and thrown it over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.
The yard with the big dog. (Son1 was afraid of dogs and Paulie knew this.)

Now, Husband is a very quiet and reserved kind of guy too, but when Son1 told him it was the neighborhood bully he went ballistic.
Usually it’s my job to be the cool headed one in the family, but on this occasion I was with Husband!

Husband took Son1 and went down the street to retrieve the helmet and to look for Paulie.

When he found him they had a little chat.

Son1 came running home, breathless with excitement, as he told me the story.

Husband did have a talk with Paulie.
A very quiet talk.
He never raised his voice the whole time.
He just picked Paulie up and held him dangling, about a foot off the ground, up against the fence while he explained to him how wrong it was to bully people and if he ever did it again, to ANY of the kids in the neighborhood, he (Paulie) would have to answer to him (Husband).
Finishing with, “Trust me, you do not want that.”

The kids in the neighborhood were THRILLED!
Paulie had been the bane of their existence and now they had a savior!
“We’ll tell Mr. Husband!” was the battle cry of the neighborhood kids. 

There is nothing so comforting as knowing your Dad’s ‘got your back’!

{The day we moved (some years later) Paulie came to our house to talk to Husband. He apologized for the incident and thanked Husband for doing what he did. He said it was Husband who finally made him realize what he had been doing and how wrong it was!} 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


In the ‘back forty’, our little two foot square of garden, I have planted my birdhouses. I had about a dozen or so to begin with but the elements have claimed them over time. They add a touch of color to the garden during the harsh, hot summer when the more colorful plants suffer and die. They have also become refuge for the myriad of gekkos that try to escape the ‘great huntress’ AKA the cat!
This particular little guy likes to sun himself on his ‘front porch’, so I grabbed a pencil and scrap of paper and caught him as he posed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just a Little Memory

We were living in a ‘cozy’ two bedroom apartment.
Because it was just temporary my parents didn’t bother to store the extra furniture that didn't really fit, it was just stacked up here and there waiting for the next move.
BigBrother was away at college and my father had gotten a job in the Big Apple so they only came home on weekends.
It was just my mother and I during the week.
We would eat our meals on TV trays sitting on the couch with the stacked furniture around us.
I remember many evenings spent laughing with my mother as we ate chicken wings and drank Diet-Rite cola while watching the Merv Griffin Show.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ham With a Capital "H"

Son2 has always danced to a different drummer!

Underpants on your head and undershirt on your bottom.
What? Is there a problem?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I’ll Have Your Job

Long, long ago, in a land far away, I used to work as a telephone operator.
It was a god-awful job.
People say the most amazing things when they don’t have to look you in the eye.
Some were funny, some were sad, and some were just plain mean.
And if I’m going to be honest about this story, I wasn’t always a sweet-tempered individual myself.
I was known to let a snide remark slip my lips from time to time.
Totally deserved you understand, but still not very professional.
Chalk it up to youthful stupidity. And to the fact that sometimes (ahem) I say things without thinking them all the way through.
The worst time I ever got into trouble, I didn’t think I’d said anything that was really all that bad.
A woman was being unusually snippy and I was running out of patience.
She said, “I’ll have your job!”
My response was, “Be my guest, you can have it!”

She reported me to the supervisor who proceeded to put it in my ‘permanent record’.

(I still don’t think it was all that bad.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love, Loss and a Side of Beef

Once upon a time we had friends who decided they wanted to chuck the rat race and get back to nature.

So they sold their suburban home and bought a farm. Chickens, pigs, cows, victory garden and all.

They tilled and weeded, canned and preserved.
They nurtured and bred and fed the livestock.
They enjoyed the fresh produce that came from their labors.
They profited from the fresh eggs that came from the chickens.
They even managed to kill some of the chickens when necessary.

But when it came time to slaughter a hog they called in professionals.

The company they hired took away the animal, slaughtered and dressed it and brought back lovely little sterile packages neatly wrapped in butcher paper and all efficiently labeled ready for the freezer.

No fuss, no muss.
It was all good.

Then, one day it came time to kill a cow.
So they called the company they had used for the pigs.

They came in a shiny new truck that was equipped for the job at hand.

And right there, in the middle of the barnyard, they stunned the cow and proceeded to slaughter her in front of God and everyone.

The men were covered in blood, the barnyard was covered in blood, the truck was covered in blood.
When the job was done, instead of neatly wrapped packages ready for the freezer as they had expected, hanging in the barn was a side of beef! 

They were shocked! They expected the company to take the animal away and bring back the nice neat little packages like the other times! 
That's when they realized they weren't the pioneers they thought they were! LOL

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stinky Head

Son2 has always been an outspoken individual.
It’s an admirable trait.

But it was difficult to explain to him when he was small that although we valued honesty it didn’t mean he had to vocalize his every thought.

So it didn’t surprise us when we got a call from his second grade teacher.
This teacher was a young man who, in my opinion, was less than suited to his profession.

One day during story hour as he was reading a book to the kids he turned the book towards the children so they could see the illustration, but he turned it back too quickly so that Son2 didn’t see it.
Son2 complained that he didn’t get to see the picture.
The teacher told him next time pay attention.

To which Son2 called him a stinky head.

I really had a hard time not laughing as the teacher was telling me this story.
I said I’d talk to Son2 about it. And I did.
Telling him that we must show the teacher respect and not call him names.

Son2 apologized the next day and all was well.
(The teacher did tend to pick on him and assign him more work than the rest of the class after that, but I held my tongue.)

At the end of every school year the school held a carnival.
One of the most popular attractions was the dunking pool.
And you’ll never guess who the dunkee was that year?
Yep, stinky head.
I paid quite a bit of change buying turns for all the kids to have a chance to dunk him.
And when someone finally did, I yelled out, “That’s for you, stinky head!”

(Yeah, I know, I’m a stellar role model!)

Then I told Son2 that the teacher WAS a stinky head. That we had agreed with him all along!
But even though the teacher was one, we really shouldn’t point it out to him. It’s not polite.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11th

Another game my mother and I used to play was “I wonder what ever happened to…..”
Although Husband has know me for 37 years, he doesn’t share the early memories my mother and I had.
I miss that.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Husband is my shelter.

Sketchbook Challenge

This month's theme over at The Sketchbook Challenge is 'Shelter'. 
I know this can be interpreted in many ways, but I am struggling with it.
I find myself not wanting to sketch the usual houses, buildings, etc.

So here’s one idea. 
Why do kids always like to play with the boxes more than what comes in them?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


They are soooo cute when they are ducklings! Not so much when they are adults (look at momma.) They're not mallards like I'm used to up north, they're Muscovy Ducks. 

(I'm loving this camera!)

From Wikipedia:
The Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Small, wild and feral breeding populations have established themselves in the United States. They are a large duck, with the males measuring about 76 cm in length, and weighing up to 15 pounds.
 Wikipedia picture (not mine)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lest You Think BigBrother

Episode Five: BigBrother Helps Job (Again)

As I said, Job was always doing some sort of home improvement chore around the house.
On this particular day his job at hand was replacing the pine floorboards in his den.
He had all the planks stacked neatly in his garage waiting for installation.

Along comes BigBrother to ‘help’ by painting the boards.

The lovely, expensive, knotty pines boards.

And of course BigBrother chose his favorite color….red!  (I blame Job for still having red paint around knowing BigBrother’s propensity for using it!)

Job came out to the garage to find BigBrother hard at work. 
He didn't yell or scold, just took BigBrother by the hand and brought him home. He explained what had happened and once again, my parents were aghast.

They offered to replace the boards but Job just laughed and said not to worry; he’d just turn the boards over and use the other side.

The man was a saint!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pinto, Take Two

When it comes to driving, I take after my mother, whose nickname behind the wheel was ‘lead foot’!

One night I was on my way home.
I took the back way, along winding and hilly roads.
I noticed flashing lights in my rear view mirror.
No sirens, because it was late I guess, just the lights.
I knew it was for me and I didn’t want to get a speeding ticket.

So I whipped around a curve, pulled into the first driveway I came across, turned off my lights and ducked down in the seat.
I saw the patrol car continue on the main road.
As soon as I thought he was gone, I pulled out of the driveway, zoomed home, ran into the house and prayed the officer wouldn’t think to backtrack and look for my car.

Looking back on it now, maybe he wasn’t really after me!

(And in case you’re thinking less of me for not owning up to my crime and taking my medicine, I have gotten my fair share of tickets in my life.
One time when Son1 was little he thought they were going to take me to jail! I had a heck of a time calming him down! LOL)

Friday, August 3, 2012

My First Car

My first car was a Pinto.

I loved that little blue bucket of bolts. 
You had to stick a pencil in the carburetor to get it to start.
And the fuel gauge lied through its teeth! It would run out of gas when the needle was on 3/8’s full. 
(It only fooled me once!)

It was the model that supposedly blew up on impact if it was in an accident. (Something about the gas tank location.) 
I also had the Goodyear tires that were defective.

One day I was on my way to have my brakes fixed when I rear ended a police car.
I kid you not!

It was bumper to bumper traffic so we weren’t going very fast, and I only ‘tapped’ him, but still….a COP!

I was mortified.

As he got out of the car to come back to me I was jabbering about how I was on my way RIGHT THEN to have my brakes fixed! Honestly!

He looked at my license as he listened to me blathering on and on, and said, “Go straight to the garage and BE CAREFUL!”

He didn’t even write me a ticket!
I guess he figured I wouldn’t be stupid enough to hit a cop if I wasn’t normally a law-abiding citizen! (I guess it didn't hurt to be cute, young and female either! LOL)

(That little four cylinder rattle trap also eluded a patrol car one night. But that’s a different story.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012