A blog named BETTY

Monday, November 26, 2007


Thanksgiving was at our house. It was wonderful. It was exhausting. I've pretty much been in bed ever since. Including most of my birthday. Sigh.

Being in bed so much has given me a lot of time to think (what can I say--I couldn't find the remote for awhile there). It's allowed me the luxury of fine-tuning my "I am made of paper" theory. Seriously, while going through chemo and recovering from it, it ran through my mind constantly "I am made of paper." I'd even say it out loud to people, like that should explain everything. They'd nod as if to say "ahhh...the made of paper condition. Gotcha" and change the subject.

So here it is: being made of paper means being so fragile that the slightest breeze or change in the weather or outside force can ruin you (or at least wrinkle you forever). In this analogy I, of course, am the paper (I think we've established that), and these outside forces are like unto a tiny little germ, missing a nap, or--heaven forbid--being forced to walk to the mailbox (you'd be surprised how evil can conspire against you). Those things can take days...weeks...to recover from when you're in a paper-like state.

As I've been lying in bed this week, it occurred to me that I'm not just plain paper...I am a paper boat! During the dog days of chemo, I was a paper boat made of rice paper: not water-safe in any sense. Just meant to be kept on a shelf out of reach (actually, maybe a really high enclosed cupboard, since I wasn't much to look at either!). I think that last year, I was a boat made of regular paper--could float for a brief time. Currently, I'm thinking that I'm a boat made of coated paper, so I can withstand water better and am stronger. But during weeks like this, my coating is a little thin. Someday, I'd like to be one of those toy boats made of plastic. Even dollar-store plastic would be great! It's probably too much to ask for to be Tonka plastic (surely they make boats, right?), but a girl can dream.

As if all of this weren't fascinating enough (!!), another level just occurred to me: When I had shingles and people asked me how it felt, all I could say is that it felt like I was turning into WOOD from the inside out. Paper...wood...get the connection? Whoa.

So, in summary, I think we can all agree that what we've learned is this: You should never, ever hide the remote from Erin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I am so NOT my mother's daughter

Last night I was rummaging through my dusty recipes, preparing for the Thanksgiving feast, when Shnookie4 spies something that just CRACKS HER UP. I look her way, and she has my recipe card notebook. She's points at one of the recipe and says "Oh my gosh, Mom, you have a RECIPE for chocolate chip cookies!! Isn't that just weird???!!!" The look on her face says, "What are people thinking? As if you can just MAKE chocolate chip cookies using things in your house. Everyone knows they come in a tube from the store! Doh!"

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bump in the Night

I have to say, Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. I've had bad experiences since becoming the mom versus being the trick-or-treater. It's like a huge ball of stress and over-sugared frenzy wrapped up together. Really, I do not have demanding children, and I'm lucky that way. They were fine when I came to my senses and stopped hand-making their costumes (okay, the oldest was only 5 when that happened, but knowledge that it was ever so doesn't seem to bother them.). And they were more than thrilled when I gave up my quest to revolutionize the treat paradigm by handing out little toys instead of candy. ("Mo-o-o-o-m, that's soooo embarrassing!") And the fact that I only get one or two underexposed pictures of them doesn't faze them a bit. Obviously, THEY are quite content with our run-of-the-mill, status-quo, store-bought halloween. It's time I just admit that it's MY expectations of this holiday that make me miserable. I put off buying costumes every year, because I can sew. And when I did sew their costumes, they cost less (okay, probably not), and they lasted for YEARS. They could play dress-up all year round without them falling to shreds. And they were original. It is I who cannot stand the thought of them out there in a sea of costumes identical to theirs. Sigh.

It's true...*I* am the spoiled, demanding little halloween snot. Maybe by the time I'm 60 I can deal with that.

Soooooo, speaking of costumes and under-exposed photos, here's the line-up at our house for this year:

Shnookie4 is a vampiress, and she gets the award for easiest costume this year. Saw it at Wal-Mart. Liked it. Bought it. Never changed her mind or asked for any accessories (although I'm thinking now that a pair of fake fangs would've been a good idea. oops) Shnookie3 is a mummy, and she gets the award for the most difficult costume, because I had to shred sheets and hot glue them to clothing and then RE-DO it all again when the clothing wouldn't stretch enough to go onto her body. So yes, I did sort of make this costume, and yes, it did remind me of why I don't do that. HOWEVER, it was very rewarding that everyone raved about how real she looked. Stroke, stroke, tail wagging...

I think you can tell what Shnookie1 is (on the right). And this is a perfect example of my afore-mentioned argument for home-made costumes. I made these for husband1 and I when Shnookie was just a year old (he was a single red M&M--cute, cute), so that was 15 years ago. And someone has worn one of them every year since then. HAH! How's that for good economics??!!

Oops--obviously I'm too lazy to figure out how to turn that the right way. Sorry!
Shnookie2 and her best friend win the most original costume for the year. They are Tracy Turnblad and Penny from the movie Hairspray. Is that not perfect? Her friend came up with it when she and her mom noticed how the movie girls' height was so different...much like Shnookie and friend! Shnookie had to wear a black wig (which I was up hairspraying and curling at midnight) and padding, but her friend's hair (and body, lol) are so much like Amanda Bynes.
This costume wasn't only a little difficult to put together, but so worth it, considering what a hit it was. Shnookie did most of the work, too, which is a nice perk for me. She had a little trouble with the body padding at first, though, and this is how she looked:
That had me laughing and gasping just a wee bit! I think we'll save the "bun in the oven" look for another year. gulp.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Abhorrent Badgering causes Cacophony

I just saw a blog about mustache observation. Wow, that's hard to compete with! I don't think Betty could handle being quite THAT specialized.

Anywho, I want to show off this project that I FINALLY finished. It doesn't look like it, but it took me forever to put it together. I got the brainstorm to make a word of the week thingy to help my kids get ready for the SAT/ACT's. So I looked up a list of vocab words that are on these tests, and I chose one for each week of the year (that would be 52, Einstein ;)). The most grueling part was looking up all these words and making up sentences for each one. It was A LOT of work. But the good news is that I now know each of these words forwards and backwards. My kids will have nothing on me. I'm gonna kill when I take the SAT.

I had the words spiral bound into two tablets (that would be 26 words per tablet). The guy at the copy place had to go through EVERY SINGLE WORD and tell me whether or not he knew it. Fascinating.

So I used (mostly) Shawna Clingerman's Pile of Scribbles and Funk digital kit to make the paper that covers the clipboard. LOVE this kit, and it's the colors I'm trying to do in my kitchen, where the clipboard hangs. Of course, the whole thing is heavily modge-podged to withstand the strangeness that goes on in our kitchen. Viola!