Monday, August 31, 2009

Jeans and junk...

First of all, curse you Levi's!

At Urban Renewals last week I bought a pair of jeans that I love. I love these jeans so much that I want to marry them and have their sweet little perfect fit babies. Unfortunately, Levi's does not want me to do that since not only are these jeans no longer in production, they were unable to tell me what the style number is so that I can hunt them down on Ebay and buy them up. When I called the Levi's toll free number, the woman I spoke with told me that they don't keep the style numbers of discontinued jeans on file. Doesn't this seem fishy to you? Once the nice lady told me that there was no way to track down these old jeans, she helpfully suggested a new style for me. Sorry lady. If you had seen my butt in these jeans you would understand why these are the only jeans on planet earth for me. Now I will have to spend my remaining days in this world searching for these jeans in every dark thrift store I can find.

In other news a miracle happened. It is called, "My children were both invited on a three hour playdate!"

First the girls and I spent the morning at the Museum of Science watching an Omni Movie about the Amazon and going into the live butterfly garden. After a delightful visit I dropped the girls off at their friends house and did the only thing a woman with three free hours could do. I junked.

Off to Global Thrift I went in search of untold treasures. I was not disappointed.

I love bowls with stripes. They thrill me.

Why yes those are purple snakeskin Sanita clogs! Barely worn. I will wear them every blessed chance I get because they are totally my style.

I am probably going to paint the frame of this mirror red!

I think that this strawberry embroidery thingy is my favorite.

Someone worked hard on it.

After the junk store I went to the grocery store all by myself where no asked me to buy Lucky Charms or beef jerky.

Sometimes that's all a mom can ask for.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Today was cleaning day. I am too exhausted to give you the entire boring story of cleaning each room, removing mounds of dog hair and doing loads of laundry. Trust me, it sucked.

One sweet lovely thing did come of it though. My children played with each other for over three hours.

This is what I found them doing.

The teddy bears were injured and bandaged repeatedly. There were broken arms, legs, noses and butts. An appendectomy and a tonsillectomy were performed. They were wheeled about the house in the wheelchair and just when it seemed that they were all healed...Whamo! A new injury that required a 911 call.

Also, please tell me that I am not the only one who has started putting away the summer clothes and taking out the fall clothes. Will doing this doom me to six more weeks of summer? Because, people, I am ready for some pumpkins!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where the whores shop...

I know that it's been ages since I've had a good junk post, but my junking has diminished considerably this week. We've been in Back-to-School-Hell.

This week I discovered two things:

1. Rebecca has outgrown nearly every single piece of clothing from last fall and winter.

2. Replenishing her wardrobe is a nightmare.

Rebecca is one of the tallest girls in her class and she's not one of those skinny bean poles either, she's proportionally built to her height. Jeans never really fit her well, though I found one pair of Lucky Jeans at the junk store for 5.99 that fit her nicely. Mostly she lives in gauchos and leggings. Last year I found tons of great blousey knit tops that were great. They fit her beautifully, nothing was too tight and it was all age appropriate.

This year the style has changed. The crap that is being sold to the "tween" age group is simply appalling. The t-shirts are skin tight and in all of the awful flourescents that were ugly the first time that I lived through them in the eighties. None of it is pretty you know? We found some things that we could both live with, most of which were black. There were simply no pretty colors to be found.

We tried the Gap, which is not whorish, but doesn't fit her in the kids sizes. Justice is pre-whore central, though we found a few things. Sears, even good old sears had a strong "How to be a whore in three easy steps" section. Forget Kohls. Just do. I used to love that store.

The things offered at Lands End and LLBean are just boring. I miss the days when I could go into Gymboree and lose myself in those sweet ensembles. The whole thing would match, underwear, socks, hair ribbons, dress and tights.

So clothes shopping which should be fun, has been nothing but frustration as Rebecca tries things on only to find them too tight or just too awful. Finally I gave up and ordered some things from some very non whorish catalogs.

Today was also haircut day.

Lily wanted hers short.

Rebecca just needed a trim.

So after a full day of haircuts, a movie about special agent hamsters, failed clothes shopping, and forcing my children to try on their winter coats, snow pants and boots, guess what we did to relax?

We started (and finished) rearranging the furniture in Rebecca's room. Because I'm that kind of crazy. Now I'm just exhausted. Tomorrow we are staying home and tidying and cleaning the house. We will put the shame of the tween tart clothing expedition behind us and start the morning fresh and bright.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lily Claire, brave and no longer pierced...

Have you ever noticed that the infirmities of some families are remarkably consistent?

For example, one of my favorite bloggers, Twobusy, is often talking about his children vomiting. Sometimes they vomit in the car, sometimes it's in bed. Occasionally they even puke in the toilet. Twobusy himself even vomited in a McDonalds parking lot.

In my family we seem to have more than our fair share of pus.

My children are prone to sty's and to abscesses. Pretty much the head honchos of the pus family.

When Lily started complaining about wanting to take her earrings out I should have suspected that something was up. She is a child who is very sensitive to anything scratchy, poky, itchy, squeezy and otherwise annoying. I figured that she was just getting tired of having them in.

"Just wait another week Lily." I said. "Make sure they are fully healed".

Yesterday morning her complaints had reached a tenor that was impossible to ignore.

"Lily, if you take them out now they may close up. Is that okay with you? It's your decision." I said.

"Yes! Take them out!" She cried.

I took them out, noticed that one looked funky, but since we were on our way out I just slapped some antibiotic ointment on the holes and got on with the day.

Last night before bed I took another look at that funky ear and my stomach sank. It was bulging and filled with pus. It was about the size of a pea.

If there is one word that sets terror in the hearts of my children it is "drain". As in, "We must drain the pus."

We went through all of the stages of pus draining. First we acknowledged the pus. Then we talked about it. Then began the bargaining. I offered to let her do it. She wanted to wait another day. I suggested that I do it. She yelled at me. I offered ice cream if she let me do it. No deal. Finally negotiations broke down and I drained it myself.

Readers, it was not pretty. There was pus, then there was blood, then there was ice cream. There was crying and there were hugs and Lily Claire was brave and strong.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just another day in August...

This summer has begun to take on a distinctly gluttonous pallor.

Today we went to our favorite beach where we played in the sun for five hours. Fried clams were eaten, frappes were sampled, the weather was perfect and we ran into some friends from home so the girls had pals to play with. The water was even warm enough so that I enjoyed frolicking and playing rescue boat with my girls.

To be honest, I'm finding all of the fun a bit oppressive. Growing up Catholic and spending many years in Catholic school I learned early the value of work and suffering. The relentless fun of summer feels unnatural to me. At first I enjoy the decadence, the delicious sweet nectar of summer. We sleep late, we watch more movies. We do not study the times tables even though we should. It's a bit wanton and sinful. I must repent.

Tomorrow I will make a list. We will grocery shop. Laundry will be done. A small bit of structure will be returned as we begin the countdown to fall.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When they are good, they are so so good...

The girls and I are back on the cape for a few days.

Rebecca and Lily love to play outside here. Our backyard at home is a green and fake bricked rectangle. We have a few trees and a few bushes. There is nothing mysterious about it.

Nana and Pepere's yard is a woodland fairytale. Their house is tucked in the woods. The woods are mostly pine and create shadows and hide-aways. There are many shade loving flowers around the house and in the garden. There are dapples of sunlight which create small bursts of color in the flowers that it reaches.

Rebecca and Lily spent about an hour outside this afternoon as the shadows grew. They collected pine cones, moss and flower petals.

They created this fairy sculpture.

Lily told me that this is the fairy vault where important things are stored.

I was so happy to come and spy the fairy offerings. Once I had my camera out I saw so many things to photograph.

This just-being-born hydrangea caught my eye.

This peony is from their garden.

I love nests. You must know this about me. They are so womby, you know?

After a while the spell ended and the children came back in the house demanding snacks and tv. They were calmed with nectarines and a game of cards. I know what I witnessed though, the gentle chatter, the purposeful creation in their play. I know who they really are, when they are at their most inspired, at their most divine. It's my favorite secret to hold.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The afflicted Part Two...

I think that I may have mentioned before that David is a kid at heart.

I enjoy this quality about him. It makes him fun and quirky.

Most of time.

Remember the incident with the skateboard? He likes to show me that he still has a bruise on his hip. We'll be brushing our teeth and suddenly he'll flash his hip. "See this" he says, "It still hurts!"

At least he used to show me his bruise until he got whiplash and became unable to move his head.

There was no car accident and it happened prior to the incident with the nun, so this injury was not an act of god. This injury was an act of pure David.

Readers, his whiplash was caused by a water slide.

Yes, a water slide. We look the kids to Bousquet this weekend to ride the water slides. The kids were like machines, up they went, down they came. Up, down, up, down.

And David was right there behind them, on the tube, on the mat, on his stomach, flipping on his side and then slamming into the pool of water at full speed. He was in true David form.

I went down once, got two gallons of water in my brain and announced that I'd had enough.

David kept going and everything was great until Sunday morning when he attempted to do some sit-ups. One sit-up went okay. The second sit-up brought a twinge. The third sit-up had him howling in agony.

I went into nurse mode, "Get the heating pad! Where's the motrin? Should you lay down? How about sitting up?" His mother brought in a muscle massager and I even refrained from making a vibrator joke.

After about a ten minutes it had become clear that this injury was not going away. There was only one thing to be done. I left David with my mother-in-law and the heating pad and took the kids shopping.

I took the children to Barnes and Noble where we had a leisurely browse through the stacks, a place where the greatest risk of injury is a paper cut. It was so peaceful. No screams of pain, no requests for morphine.

We returned to my in-laws, had lunch and packed the car. We began our drive. Then we swore at a nun. Then David lost his keys in his suitcase, but that my friends is a story for another day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why I will burn in hell...

We spent this weekend out in western Massachusetts visiting my in-laws at their country house in the mountains. We had a lovely visit, despite the pouring rain. There were water slides and delicious food. My girls were able to spend lots of time with my sweet, sweet nephew whom we all adore.

But you know how I am. This morning I was ready to come home.

On our trip home we travel a stretch of highway called the Massachusetts Turnpike. There is nothing to see. Just trees, more trees, some rocks and then more trees.We are on this miserable boring road for 112 miles. I know that it's 112 miles because I rely on my GPS telling me that we are actually getting closer to home to keep me from losing my sanity from the boredom. I watch the estimated time of arrival, trying to lose minutes and beat the car at its own little game.

At about mile 56 we hit some traffic. I began to mutter under my breath about gaining minutes and the car beating me. The traffic thickened further but then oh joy! It was merely a moving truck in distress driving at about 35 miles per hour. Cars began going around the truck.

Well, most cars.

The car directly behind the truck was clearly driven by someone extremely timid and deranged.

The cars in the right lane would slow down to allow the car in the left lane to pass. The crazy car would ignore the drivers indicating that she should pass. Then as the non crazy driver would give up being nice, the crazy driver would begin to swerve into the right lane towards the passing car causing screeching brakes, honking and swearing.

This happened three times.

Finally the car directly in front of me came to almost a complete stop and allowed the crazy driver to pass.

It's possible that David and I were making rude comments about this driver. The children were watching a movie in the back seat and had headsets on so it's possible, ever so slightly possible that David and I were actually extremely rude when discussing this driver who had managed to single-handily back up traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike for two miles.

Once we passed the ailing truck I sped up so I could see the @$$&*##$ who was driving.

As our car edged pass, David and I looked at the driver.

Reader, it was an elderly nun. In full habit. A bride of Christ.

I know that Jesus is all forgiving, but seriously? I'd send me to hell too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A short Saturday display of treasure!

You're probably wondering if I found anything while junking yesterday with my sweet cherubs.

Of course I did you sillies!

Not a huge haul but I am quite in love with the daisy pitcher and the crazy cool candle holder.

No, I don't know where I will be putting it, but love finds a way!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday junking with the girls!

Today was the day which I had been looking forward to all week- junking with Rebecca and Lily.

We had a mission- school clothes shopping.

We started with the shoe section because it had the potential for the biggest savings and I wanted to make sure that we tried on shoes before the window of shopping joy closed.

We had amazing luck! Rebecca found a pair of never worn red patent leather slip on Ugg shoes for 4.99. A perfect fit and so comfy. Lily was delighted to find a pair of silver sequin sneakers in her size for 3.99. We also found a pair of brand new crocs for Lily for .99 which is great because Sophie keeps eating Lily's.

I had hoped to find some awesome boots for the girls, since a nice pair of knee high black or brown boots are often the perfect accent for any fall of winter ensemble, but no luck.

At this point the shopping window of joy was beginning to close so I let the kids look through all of the toys and books while I looked for clothes that they could try on.

Readers, I found such amazing things for Lily and that little wretch rejected everything. Well, almost everything. She loved the black faux fur coat from Gymboree for 7.99. She flapped her arms and said that she loved it because it made her feel like a penguin. She also picked out a black Puma track suit jacket with white stripes for 1.50. Apparently she wants to dress like marine life. Or a pimp.

Rebecca surprised me by falling in love with a dusty blue corduroy mini-skirt from J.Crew which is covered with Springer Spaniels. We found a super soft Hollister sweater for 4.99 to go with it, as well as a pair of cream colored leggings for .99. Now all we need are some of those brown boots I was telling you about and we have one amazing outfit!

By the time we left, the shopping window was shut and locked, but reader...I pushed my luck.

I was still looking for boots for the girls and I remembered that the mini-mall on the way home has a Stride Rite outlet.

We got to the mall and first went to The Gap Outlet where my children sucked. They rejected everything, even the very cute giraffe print dress that was on sale.

It was clearly time to feed them. Up to the food court we went. "Pizza? Cheeseburger?" I asked. "I want Chinese food!" demanded Lily.

We picked some lo mein and fried dumplings and needed to choose a third item for the lunch special. This is where it all went wrong. There was nothing there which she'd eaten before so I chose the honey chicken.

Lily proceeded to cry angrily, "I hate that! I don't want it! I won't eat it!"

I sat her down, removed the offensive meat from her plate and suggested she try it. She glared at me as she wolfed down several bites of lo mein. Finally she agreed to lick it. She licked, then she bit and then she ate. "I'll eat it, " she said grudgingly, "But I still don't want it on my plate." Disaster averted.

After we all ate and were in better spirits we went in search of boots. On the way I saw a beacon in the horizon and lo, it was a brand new Gymboree Outlet. "Girls, we're stopping here!" I announced.

They groaned but couldn't argue since Gymboree always has a video playing in the back. Thank you Gymboree for having a clue. I found Lily some boring pants because she announced that she would under no circumstances be wearing stripes this season.

She was completely besotted with an orange knit hat with a green stem at the top. Yes internet, I bought Lily the pumpkin hat from the baby section. She loved it.

I tore them away from the Barney video and in we went the the Stride Rite outlet where my prayers were answered. There, shining in row three were the perfect boots. Lily tried them on and declared them acceptable, though she did all of this while pinching her nose because she said, "This store smells." This store smells like the goodness of new shoes you heathen child.

Both children began to beg to leave. I bribed them to go into Marshall's by allowing them a turn on the kiddie ride for fifty cents. Never let it be said that I am not a benevolent dictator.

We went home. The girls scurried to their rooms with their new junk store books in hand and read for an hour. Then they glued things to empty shoe boxes for the next hour. Periodically I put food in front of them. They ate it and I retreated silently to my laundry.

We had all been through something exhausting and emotionally draining. We did not discuss the trauma of the day. Like soldiers, we merely picked up the pieces and carried on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fat and dirty.

It was a tough day to be a pug here at Shiny Red Houses.

Both dogs needed some shots and Sophie got a full check-up.

As soon as we walked in the door of the vet's Pugsley started shedding. His tail drooped and he began panting nervously.

First Pugsley was weighed and we were given the sad news that he is big boned. Errrr....make that fat. Pugsley needs to lay off the treats and slim down. He had a few shots and then I asked about some scabby skin on his belly. The vet said that all he really needed was a bath. Fat and dirty. Then Pugsley was taken into the back room to have his anal glands expressed. Seriously. If Pugsley could drink beer it'd be Miller time.

Then it was Sophie's turn and she is dainty and perfect. She handled her shots and came back from her anal gland expression with a wagging tail.

When we arrived at home I lured the dogs into a false sense of security.

Bath? What bath? Who said anything about a bath?

Bwaaahaaahaaa! Both dogs endured the indignity of being bathed and are surely plotting to poop in my shoes as retribution.

Just another day of glamour and fun here at Shiny Red Houses.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quiet sounds.

This afternoon my mother and Jack headed back to Arizona.

It was a lovely visit and we packed a lot of fun into this week. There were lobster rolls and frappes, skee ball and the pool. We junked, we shoe shopped and we wiied.

Now though the house is quiet.

I took the girls to Global Thrift today where they picked out a huge stack of books for about $4.

As I sit in my red kitchen chair Lily is eating her dinner of mac and cheese and reading. I love the sound of the spoon hitting the bowl and the soft turn of the pages of her book.

Rebecca is upstairs with her dinner, because I am a mother who knows when her kids need some quiet and solitude. She is reading her book, will probably be reading it for hours.

I love the quiet. The sound of pages being turned signals contentment in the house for all of its residents.

I hope that you can find quiet in your life too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pugs neither float nor swim.

Is summer over yet?

I know that there are those of you out there who enjoy the sun and heat and humidity, but I honestly have no idea how you do it.

Rebecca summed it up beautifully. "When it's hot I sweat. When it's hot and humid I am dead on my feet."

When I woke up this morning it was at least 167 degrees.

I mean it. I woke up, threw on some clothes and took the dogs outside for their walk and wanted to die.

This morning I met up with my buddy TJIC. Funny thing about TJIC. We knew each other in high school back in New Jersey and now we live in the same town. Since we both have dogs and the same sense of snark we often walk our dogs together.

Since we are walking early we let the dogs run off leash on the path a bit. Sophie loves to run to the water and drink pond scum. She prefers poop of course, but can't resist green slime either.

As TJIC and I were chatting I realised that Sophie wasn't with me. I called her name. Usually when I call for her she comes running or at least starts rustling in the underbrush.

This time when I called her I heard nothing. Not a peep. It was odd, but I wasn't worried. I called her again and again. More silence.

Now I was getting a little worried.

I went closer to the water and noticed the water rippling just past a large bush. Aha! She must be drinking. I rounded the bush and at first I did not see her at all.

Then I saw the water moving again and realized that Sophie had fallen off a rock ledge and was almost entirely underwater. Her face was just above the water and her paws were holding on to the rock. I ran down and scooped her out of the water.

She coughed and sneezed and shook her fur, but she was fine.

I wasn't though.

I think that I was shocked at first. TJIC and I continued the walk, our conversation humming along. Every so often I'd stop and say, "Sophie almost drowned!"

TJIC would say, "I know."

"But what if I hadn't noticed for a few more minutes! She'd be dead!"

"I know." TJIC replied.

Most days I don't dwell on "what ifs". It's really not my style. I don't dabble in regrets and I almost never look back.

Sometimes though I am keenly aware of how sharp the edge of each moment can be. I take for granted that I will wake up, go outside, curse the weather, pick up dog poop, do the laundry, and on and on and on.

I assume that there will be no drownings, no car accidents. There will be no blood loss or heart attacks. Each day will blend seamlessly into night, the only tragedies which will mar the day will be stubbed toes and broken nails.

What if it all goes wrong?

It didn't.

I'm grateful and humbled by the lesson.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Who's carny?

This is not one of those posts about decorating, thrifting or cooking.

This post is all carny.

What's carny?

This my friends is carny.

So is this.

The most carny thing of all!

Today David and I took the girls to Salisbury Beach, MA where we met my mother and Jack at Joe's Playland Arcade to play skeeball, poker keno, quarter-push games, shoot-the-clown, racing car, racing motorcycle and oh, did I mention the skeeball! By dumping quarters into these beautiful flashing beacons of hypnotic joy we won armloads of tickets which could be redeemed for valuable prizes.

I am not ashamed to admit that once the six of us had added up our tickets we had 1,318.

We kind of kicked butt.

The kids and I love this stuff. The bells, the lights, the chance to have tickets spew at our feet is just thrilling!

You can just imagine the deliberations that occurred when it came time for Rebecca and Lily to chose their prizes. It was agonizing and painstaking. Finally selections were made.

Rebecca chose a blue care bear, a back scratcher and a squeaking rubber alligator.

Lily chose a Patriots themed teddy bear, a back scratcher and a gigantic pencil.

The girls also got some sunglasses.

We then enjoyed a lunch of fried foods followed by cotton candy.

This is summer.

Afterwards we went to the hotel where my mom and Jack are staying to swim in the pool.

It was there that the man I married, the man I that I thought I knew, said something that nearly brought me to my knees.

"Well, now that I've been to Joe's Playland I never have to go back. That's one thing off the list."

I had no idea what to say.

To reject such splendor is just so odd.

David is the most carny guy I know! His humor is profane, his laugh is a guffaw. He is neither subtle, nor shy. If he were in a carnival he would be the ring master, hat in hand delighting the audience.

I now know that when the girls and I want to indulge in our dark carny desires it will be alone, our quarters in hand, our hearts bereft, our joy tempered by the absence of our ticket holder.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The newest member of our family

When I was a child growing up in New Jersey we would make the long drive up to New Hampshire to visit both sets of grandparents a few times a year.

I know that some families have happy memories of road trips. Ours was not one of those families. I hated those seven hours in the car with every cell in my being. For one thing, my brother Matthew kept touching my side of the seat. Sometimes he would make spit bubbles in my direction. How is one to endure such horrors for seven hours? And if there were a ball game on the radio? Hours of static-filled meaningless ball blather. Good god! It's no wonder that to this day the thought of leaving my house sends me hiding under the covers.

What I did love was arriving at my Memere and Pepere's house.

Memere would always be waiting for us in her rocking chair in her kitchen. The house smelled wonderful. Sometimes she'd have chicken fricassee waiting for us and other times it would be tomato soup. She loved to feed people. She put butter on everything and you know what? Butter tastes amazing.

I experienced everything from the height of a child. I loved the strawberry decals on her cabinets and the painted stairs leading to the second floor which were so steep. Hers was the first old house I ever loved and to this day the creak of old floor boards thrill me.

My favorite thing to admire when I visited was the statue of Mary which greeted people in the foyer.

Why did I love Mary?

She was beautiful and mysterious. She was stepping on a snake, which seemed so brave and meaningful. Even at a young age I understood that there was important symbolism at work.

About ten years ago my memere asked me what I would like to have when she was gone.

I didn't even pause. "Mary." I answered.

She thought that my request was a little strange. I was after all married to a Jewish man. In fact, I had been married by a rabbi. She agreed to let me have it, though I was worried. My memere, bless her quirky heart, had a habit of promising items to more than one family member, so my cousin Cheryl took Mary to her house for safe keeping when it seemed like Memere was beginning to give things away a bit too indiscriminately.

Yesterday my mother went to a family party in New Hampshire where Cheryl and her husband Rick delivered the Blessed Virgin Mary to my mother's trunk. Today my mother brought Mary home to my house where she now watches over the staircase.

Here she is.

She is thinking very deep thoughts. Like why the artist gave her a double chin.

So beautiful.

Such a generous posture. "I will give you my only Son, and I will also step on this scary snake."

Here's that snake I was telling you about.

The snake used to look scarier.

I had no idea how heavy she was. She is concrete and very sturdy, probably meant for outdoor placement. While David appreciates the sentiment and whimsy with which she graces our stairway, I think displaying her outside would be well, perhaps asking too much. I did point out that she is the worlds most famous Jewish mother.

Thanks to Cheryl, Rick and my mom for delivering Mary. The Virgin has landed!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I show my mother the sites.

Today my mother and I wasted no time in taking care of important business.

We went junking.

I took her to Urban Renewals, otherwise known as Heaven on Earth, and lo, miracles happened.

When we first arrived at the store my mother mentioned that she's been searching through her local thrift shops in Prescott Valley, Arizona for a copy of James Micheners book Hawaii. I told her that I have never noticed it in my adventures, but that I would be sure to keep an eye out for it.

We browsed using an elaborate system which I have developed. I scour the perimeter first, then the furniture area, then childrens clothes, followed by books, toys, shoes, womens dresses and nightgowns.

While in the furniture section my mother talked me into getting an adorable table for which I have no use. It was 9.99. As we sometimes like to say around here, "Can't afford not to!"

Anyway, after the furniture and the childrens clothes we arrived at the book section. Guess what my mother found? That's right, sitting there on the shelf, as if it had been waiting for her to arrive was a brand new copy of Hawaii for .99.

That my friends is the miracle of junk.

I found a number of treasures.

You can't see much of the table. It's oval and chippy.

Those are real chips and grime!

Look at the bottom. It needed me.

The Readers Digest Family Songbook. I bought it for David. He's very musical.

I got two of these red pedestal shelves for 1.99! I can't wait to use them in my dining room.

This mixing bowl with handle and spout will come in very handy for making cupcakes.

I think that I have mentioned that I love old luggage.
Look at the interior of this suitcase.

I love the details around the handles.

After junking I took my mom to lunch.

We went into Brookline Village, were we lunched at Zaftigs.

Zaftigs is an amazing Jewish style deli and restaurant.

What makes it jewish style you ask? Traife! Traife is anything considered unkosher such as ham, bacon, shellfish and putting cheese on meat, all of which are offered.

The name of the restaurant should tell you something about this wonderful place. Zaftig is a yiddish word which originally meant juicy, succulent. It has come to refer to round and full women. Don't come here on a diet. It's succulence will be wasted on you.

You know that I don't believe in diets- so boring! I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich. Sounds tame, huh? Check it out!

Grilled challah slices with melted swiss and cheddar. I am drooling.

My mom got the pastrami sandwich.

She ate every bite. Readers, she even used her fingers to pick up the last little bits of pastrami.

I'll say it again, diets are for boring people.

We took home cupcakes. My mom and I brought home coconut cupcakes. I wish I had another one to nibble on right now...

It was a good day of food and junk and company.

On Sunday I will be blogging about a very special object which I inherited from my memere. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times...

The good news is that when my mother arrived this morning my house was clean.

The bad news is that their flight was delayed and they were very tired when they arrived.

In other bad news, or more specifically, idiot parenting news, the girls and I watched "The Mummy" this afternoon. "The Mummy" is a silly movie, with a weak script, a ridiculous plot and a serious Indiana Jones inferiority complex. It does have one thing which saved it. The very yummy Brendan Fraser who is my new pretend boyfriend.

Lily and Rebecca also agreed that he is adorable. He is our cup of tea.

Know what that movie does not have going for it? Flesh eating scarab beetles. Said flesh eating scarab beetles are the reason that Lily is in bed with a light on, a picture of me and a bracelet with special evil repelling powers.

The mummy didn't frighten her particularly. There was nothing very frightening about him.

Those swarming beetles though...

Tomorrow is the last day of camp for the girls. Rebecca is a bit weepy. She has been so happy, so blissful these six weeks of camp. Those of you with kids can understand what an amazing feeling it is to see your child completely in their element. I've sometimes described it as an emotion on the relief spectrum. It is such an exaggerated feeling of relief at seeing them so happy that it is almost impossible to recognize it as such.

Guess what? I just googled "flesh eating scarab beetles"! Good news! They don't exist and never have. Phew! Can't wait to tell Lily...

Is this the most discombobulated post ever? Yes

Do I owe you guys a ton of emails? Why yes.

Guess who just got into bed with me to escape flesh eating scarab beetles? Lily.

Guess who will not be sneaking ice cream after the kids go to bed? Me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dear Miss Twinkle Toes,

When I was in seventh grade I had a friend named Chrissy. Chrissy was funny, quirky and obsessed with horses.

Chrissy also had an alter ego named Miss Twinkle Toes who had an advice column. She was kind enough to revive Miss Twinkle Toes for this blog.

Dear Miss Twinkle Toes,

Every day when I get home from work I find that my cat has been eating my Doritos and recording over my Law and Order episodes on Tivo. Whenever I confront him he ignores me and licks his butt.

What should I do?


Disrespected by my cat

Dear Disrespected,

I have to admit that the mention of Doritos distracted me for a few minutes. But let me get to the heart of the matter.

Cats are very, very intelligent creatures. Obviously, he's planning your murder. What seems like butt licking is really him trying to distract you from the very shows from which his murderous plans have sprung. I'm sure he's off hocking your jewelry right at this moment...saving up for a fine getaway vehicle.

Don't believe me? Invest in a hidden camera...otherwise, the proof is in the orange kitty tracks!!

Ms. Twinkle Toes

Please send any questions for Miss Twinkle Toes to

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In which I reveal my wild and crazy nature...

Hold yourselves people!

I junked today. On a Tuesday. I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

I spent the entire day yesterday scrubbing my house and doing laundry.

I spent the entire evening yesterday yelling at everyone to take off their shoes in the house dammit!

A vision of sweet loving motherhood.

I felt that after all of that hard work I deserved a small diversion today.

I needed to go to the Home Depot which was not the diversion I was hoping for, though a nice man did check me out while I was picking out weed killer. I digress.

Anyway, the diversion I was thinking of involved dust and junk so off to Global Thrift I went!

I had a lovely time. Of course I'll show you my treasures!

I have no idea what I am going to do with this box but as god is my witness I will find a place for it.

These sweet little pieces just begged me to take them home. Once I saw that they were marked "Stangl" and "Floraline" I scooped them up and whispered sweet nothings into their collectible little ears.

This purse is yellow. I love yellow. The tablecloth is red. Guess what? I love red!

All these pretties set me back 30.79.

For dinner I have been eating chips and salsa. There will be ice cream for dessert.

A perfect day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shades on the cheap!

When Rebecca's room was still a purpley blue color I splurged on some fancy Pottery Barn Kids room darkening roman shades.

They were so sweet with a lavender toile pattern.

Once I painted her room pink the shades were All Wrong. They had to go.

I bought some inexpensive white ones to hang up instead and they have worked out great.

At first I thought I would sell the Pottery Barn shades on Craigslist because they had been pretty expensive, but then I had an idea.

I went to Joanne Fabric in search of an inexpensive fabric that I could cover them with to use in my room which has needed shades for the last seven years.

Here's the fabric I chose. It was 6.99 a yard. The entire project used about seven yards of fabric.

First I laid the fabric out on the table and heated up the glue gun.

Then I laid the shade on the fabric and trimmed the excess fabric from the side and bottom.

Then the fun began!

I started gluing the edges of the fabric to the back of the shade.

Usually when I get one of these cockamamie ideas I think to myself, "Piece o' cake!".

Then I start doing the project and get my ass handed back to me on a platter.

Sometime I'll tell you about the time I had the bright idea to put in a brick patio. But I digress...

Luckily, this project was just as easy as I imagined it!


I only had one problem.

I had two of the expensive room darkening shades, but I have three windows. I solved that problem by going back to the discount store and buying a plain burgundy shade for 9.99 and used the same technique.

I am a girl genius- with burnt fingers from the glue gun...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

300 pounds...

Today was a day of everything and nothing.

By some miracle the children allowed me to sleep until 9:00am. Even more miraculously, the dogs did not poop on the floor in spite of their walk being over an hour late.

In the morning I mulched and then employed my favorite little capitalist to paint the shutters.

I did one coat of each shutter, Rebecca did the second coat.

I paid her 6 Padrusch Bucks. That's right, $3.00. She was ecstatic with her pay. She made a lot of extra money this week doing all sorts of jobs that I didn't want to do. A very sweet arrangement.

With all of that cash burning a hole in her pocket Rebecca wanted to go shopping and I hate to disappoint my baby.

While out we stopped at Toys R Us to make a very important purchase for Lily.

We bought 300 pounds of sandbox sand which I put into my cart and then into my car all by myself.

The most remarkable part of the day came after dinner when the girls went outside to inspect the new sand.

They immediately started to play. They made up elaborate games involving queens and servants, archaeologists and dinosaurs, bakeries and dog treat factories.

I watched them and took pictures.

Time stopped. I held my breath and watched and listened to them chatter.

Periodically the dogs would become part of the play and then the game would shift again.

I watched and watched and watched.

It was a perfect jewel of a moment. One of the most exquisite joys of parenting is witnessing my girls play with each other. My heart almost burst, but then I remembered that I could come here and tell you all about it. I could show you the pictures and I could record the perfection that happened in my backyard this very evening. Thanks for letting me make it real.