He wants candy.

It’s been more than 15 years since I helped Grandma Betty do it.  For some reason, the bug bit a few weeks ago.  I collected what supplies I needed, waited for it to arrive, then pulled out Grandma’s molds.

First, I was just going to make peanut butter cups.  But it was taking a while to melt the semi-sweet chocolate, so I decided to go ahead and make some lollipops, too.

candy 1

Paul took these pictures.  I have no idea how he didn’t get Will in the frame.  The kid spent the afternoon sweeping around me like a nervous junkie waiting for a fix.  I was all ready to let him help, but his shakes kept getting in the way and we had to find him a distraction.

candy 2

I remembered a lot of little Grandma tricks, but missed something critical.  Because when they were set, some of the chocolate remained on the mold.  Bah.

candy 3

Soooo… I hand-painted the red bulbs back on by hand.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

candy 4

Will ate one after dinner — thumbs up from little man!

End result.  If you end up getting some of these chocolates, know that while it is a symbol that we care about you and value you in our lives, the true meaning is that Will cares so much about you that he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

candy 5

Arts & Photography
Mi Familia

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Copenhagen, the redux.



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A lil’ help.

My daughter, er, no, my HUSBAND’S CHILD got into our office drawers in the wee hours of the morning.  She proceeds to take a sheet of stamps.  And another sheet of stamps.  And some tape.

It’s too traumatic for me to go much further.

So, does anyone know?  Will the Post Office swap ruined stamps for ones still fit for circulation?

Also?  What does one do with a child who is remaining grounded until age 40?


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How to decorate a Christmas Tree, Cold Spaghetti Edition

1. Turn on the lights when putting the tree together.  In this situation, keeping your mouth shut and the lights off for the purposes of martial accord is not a good choice.

2. When dark sections of the pre-lit tree are found, do not bother spending anytime trying to find out why. Certainly do not spend several hours over an entire day doing so.

3. Do not check every bulb. Even if you are so clever as to take white paper to hold in back of the bulb in order to properly see the filament.

4. Do not change every fuse twice. It won’t make any difference.

5. Do not make fingers bloody by taking out and replacing bulbs. It won’t make any difference.

6. Buy a few strands of lights and add them on the tree, filling in the dark areas…. BUT FIRST…

7. Test each part of the ENTIRE tree. It’s really a bummer to ‘fix’ the dark spots at the bottom and then put on the top to find another dark spot. I mean, it really, really sucks.

8. When you get those string lights? Make sure they are the same color as the rest of the tree.

9. Do not involve the kids until your tree is completely set up, light, and has appropriate tinsel or garland. Otherwise, be prepared for excited children equating to ornament disasters.

10. Also, excited children in the same room as ladders, chairs, stools, or other climbing apparatus are ways of begging for a trip to the emergency room.

Mi Familia

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Just Posts for a Just World: November 2009

Alejna (Collecting Tokens) and I happily offer up Just Posts for a Just World for November 2009.

If you work with an organization that is looking for help in a certain area, feel free to post some ideas in the comments for places we can do some just work.  In the spirit of the season, if you give to a group, help with the homeless, cook in a kitchen, contribute some cash… write about it and consider sending it on for December’s list.


The November Just Posts:

This month’s posts were submitted by:


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Palmer Park Art Market

Palmer Park Art Market is a regular feature in Carrollton.  Artists booths, live music, great food vendors, kids activities, library stand, local nonprofits, and of course the park’s permanent playground, gracious oaks, and open, inviting space. We went to explore.

art 1

Will and I picked out books from the library stand, where the organization supporting our city libraries sell gently used books for around $1.  Will asked for Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour and I pointed him towards some Goosebumps stories to cut his teeth on first (both are still outside of his reading realm, though he still carries adult novels around and has at least two tucked in his bed at any moment — currently these are Adrienne Rich’s Dream of a Common Language and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary). I picked up books 1 and 2 of Pullman’s His Dark Materials series.  For this I am thankful.  Lyra rocks.

Walking around the booths, I came across an artist who reminded me of another artist.  Both artists are similar in age and used themes and materials in a similar manner, so I wondered if they came from similar backgrounds or training?  Turns out, no.

art 2

Lorriane Gendron is a Louisiana native.  Her work reflects it.  She characterizes herself as a folk artist and uses a themes from Louisiana life as her subjects.

art 3

The Mardi Gras dancers collection is wonderful: full of spirit and detail.  I love that Santa — no, Papa Noel — is holding an alligator.

art 4

Will liked the Cajun Nativity scene.  So much so that he took this picture of it.  I love the musician and bayou animal mix.

art 5

Another photo by Will, of a Mardi Gras rider.

art 6

Here is the artist, Lorraine Gendron.  She has a website, too, just in time for that holiday gift!  She added that you can just call her and she’ll make you what you want.  (Note: she also has a really great streetcar piece and works on commissions.)

art 7

My pictures reflected my love of Ms. Gendron’s tent, but there was so much more to see and do.  We saw several friends and ended up playing with the kids on the playground.  We shared snacks and took turns kid-watching and food-retrieving.

Finally, when we were sure we were going to get a good nap out of our two, we started the walk home. Lots more Louisiana-themed art was there to delight.  Will adored this painting and ordered a picture of it.  He’s become partial to art involving seafood.

art 8

And maybe other kinds of sea things, too.  I blame The Little Mermaid.

art 9

Kate, however, was much more interested in land-dwelling creatures.  The conversation went like this: “Mommy, can we get that doggie?” “No Kate, he has a family.” Mommy, can we take a picture of the doggie?” “Let’s ask…” Then after getting the alright, “It’s okay, Kate, we’ll take his picture.” “NOW can we take the doggie?” And so on.

art 10

Palmer Park Art Market is held every last Saturday of the month (unless of rain, in which case, it may be Sunday) at Palmer Park on the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne.  There will be another special holiday art market in December (19th and 20th).

It’s free, full of open space, entertainment, food, and wonderful atmosphere to get on your Joie de Vivre!

Family Life in NOLA

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How many?


20,480 1×1 plate bricks.  20 base plates.

Arts & Photography

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Benefit Concert for the children of Katie Young

Justin is a friend of mine from college.  To know him is to like him.  He’s an incredibly talented musician, friendly, and kind-hearted.  I’ve loved seeing pictures of his beautiful family and adorable children, who are not much older than my own kids.

His wife, Katie Young, died tragically in a car accident the day before Halloween.

Today and tonight, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, there is a benefit concert for Justin and Katie’s children.  10% of proceeds from all sales go to support family and the children’s college funds.



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Balance is bull.

Try as I may, I just can’t get the job of independently wealthy woman of leisure.  I tell you though, I do a BANG UP GOOD JOB of it.  Quality work, I tell you.  But then reality hits and responsibilities cave in.  It’s trite, of course, but the whole run-but-can’t-hide thing rings bells.

So we’re home and I’m finally embracing the fact that I’m now running a nonprofit (I know, how in the heck did THAT happen?!) and still have an unfinished paper that hangs over my head like ballast weight on a fraying rope.  I figure that the rope can hold out until February or so, because it will take 2-3 months to get comments, submit more drafts, and get to the point where I actually can defend.  There is a lot going on in this program director role and an equal a lot going on with the research project — the third in my triumvirate of semi-paying professional activities — and some-days I am not so good about balancing and prioritizing.

So how do others do it?  What is your system of organization?  How do you allocate time for a variety of activity?  Do you use masterful discipline to stay on task appointed time?  Do you schedule big blocks of time for one activity at a time, or do several things slowly at once?  How do other people fit in all the random bits of work, knowledge, responsibility, volunteering, meal planning, home renovating, tantrum controlling, butt wiping, phone answering, bill paying, walking, talking and breathing?

Internets, I need your secrets.

Mi Familia

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