Sunday, February 14, 2010

What should be...

is not always what is.  It should have been like this tent from The Land of Nod.

It looks like this BEFORE the kids play with it (balloons and streamers just before Sophia's birthday party).

Unfortunately, it looks like this afterwards. 

I might have to take it down until the baby realizes that the walls can not support her.

Special thanks to the hubby for helping with the hanging and supporting of the princess castle.  I made it using McCall's 5827.  I modified it a bit so that I could use old curtains which hubby also dyed this nice blue (Sophia's favorite color).  I also used an old Papa San chair cushion.  I think the cushion is the real draw for our Amelia.  Our other princess really did enjoy it and the party.  I, however, did not get much credit.  I mentioned something about me making the castle for her and she informed me that I did not, Santa did.  I know it is wrong, but sometimes I begrudge Santa.  

I did get credit for the princess dress.  It was super simple.  I found the shirt at Target and used the left over castle material for the skirt.  She wears it all the time.  Sometimes, Mama actually gets it right.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Goodreads Review of Heresy by S.J. Parris

Heresy Heresy by S.J. Parris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I won this book in one of the first reads giveaways and was so excited. I hardly win anything. I like historical fiction but knew this one would be hard since it didn't involve any love story. It makes me sound shallow, I know, but who doesn't love a good love story as a plot or sub-plot?
I had trouble with the story from the beginning. I have read a lot about the Regency time period and the strict social etiquette that seems to disallow any offering of opinion except with intimate friends. I am unsure if this was also true in the 16th century, but regardless, I found it hard to believe the conversation between Bruno and Sir Philip at the beginning of the story. It caused me to question the whole book. I kept reading and found that even though I questioned the personal interactions between the characters, I enjoyed reading about the religious struggle that took place at that time in England/Europe.
It is hard for me to imagine the need to die for a book or for a religion even in our current political/religious situation. The book did a good job in convincing me of that necessity if one stayed true to one's own belief in what is right and wrong. The author also did a good job in showing the gray area when "they" turns into "us." By that I mean, when you fight to keep yourself and your beliefs alive from the threat of others only to find out you have then become the threat. This is the most complicated part of reality and of the book. The author only touches upon it, but perhaps that is because she has no answers. I do not either.
I gave the book only 3 stars because I probably would not have kept reading it except that I felt compelled to since it had been given to me. The characters did not hold my interest as much as I would like. I also think that much of the emphasis was on the murder mystery not on the historical accuracy of the book.. Perhaps, after becoming more familiar with this time period I will have to change my opinion. In that way the book did its job: I am interested in finding out more about 16th century Europe.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Randomness-Ode to my Sadie Dog

There once was a dog named Sadie
who was a little bit crazy.
She acted a fool
until she turned two
then she became an old lady.

Take that mean 4th grade teacher who put my poetry on the board to illustrate how NOT to rhyme!

We have been traveling a lot lately hence the neglect of the blog.  We probably should not have traveled since Sadie has been having health issues since July.  Each time we think that we have figured out and fixed the problem, we leave and the poor dog sitters have a hell of a time. 

We headed to Germany on the 21st thinking that we had gotten rid of the latest problem, but oh was there a bigger one to come.  We knew from emailed reports that the S dog was having problems as soon as we left.  By the time we got back things had gotten to a really bad point.  A cyst that Sadie has had for years had burst because she had been picking at it.  She lived through that experience, but whether or not she will live through the surgery tomorrow is still unknown.

During this time of waiting, I have been thinking of Sadie. I have been crying.  I have even been wishing that she would find a quick out during surgery so that she won't have to live with the never-ending problems. 

Sadie was my first baby.  I got her right out of college.  I sped home during lunch to let her out and even got caught once.  She really did act a fool for those first two years.  We will apologize AGAIN for the chewed handle on the brand new lazy boy (sorry Anthony), the chewed knob on the new pie safe (sorry Mom), the chewing of our roommate's cat (sorry Gina, so glad you have a bad memory and forgot this incident), and chewed glasses (sorry self, good thing I had insurance).  And then, she turned two and really, that day, she turned into a grandma.  She slowed and even seemed wise.  It was fitting since she was named after a character in a book that WAS a wise old grandma.  You ought to have seen the looks of disgust she shot Jasmine when I brought that wild puppy home from the SPCA.  Sadie tolerated, but would have nothing to do with her.

We took them to Germany and they thrived.  Jasmine and Sadie both seemed to find energy and joy everyday.  I didn't have children then, so they were my "in" into village life.  They got to go to restaurants with us and out us as Americans with their bad behavior.  I mean really.  No self-respecting German dog would lie in the MIDDLE of the floor just so that they could lie on the rug.  They went to Italy and France.  They even got to see Montepuciano (where New Moon was filmed) before it was cool. 

I knew that coming back to Texas would be the end of them both.  First, they are old.  I am pretty realistic on that point.  Secondly, Sadie seems to wilt in the heat and Jasmine freaks from storms.  Texas has a lot of both.  I felt so bad taking them out of paradise into hell.  But to pay for those sky-rocketing vet bills, hubby needed to keep his job.  (Ask me about the difference in vet bills another time.  CRAZY!)  So here we are:  Facing the end of life, either tomorrow or in the next couple of years.  These dogs have taught me a lot and they continue to do so.  I fear my parents' aging.  I fear my own.  I have seen a glimpse of it and it is not pretty (sorry Sadie).  May I find strength and grace to face it.

Good Luck Sadie Dog.  I hope I see you again tomorrow!

ETA-June 14, 2006
After 2 months of doing well, Sadie developed ulcerated masses on her suture spot.  As of today, we are still fighting that and hoping she will heal.