Saturday, April 13, 2013


Okay, so Joannie tagged me on this thing called the Liebster Award. I don't even get it. But I do like to play along, so here goes! Thanks, Joannie!

How it works is:
 Thank the person who nominated you and link your post to their blog.
List 11 facts about yourself then answer the 11 questions given to you.
Create 11 more questions for your 9 nominees, all of whom have 200 or less followers.
Comment on their blogs informing them of their Liebster Award nomination. (<
Let's begin.

Eleven Facts About Annie:

1. I am prohibitively short. We have this upper cabinet shelf where my mixing bowls live and Martin likes to store a stack of red cups there. I can't actually reach that shelf, so while he would like the three red plastic cups to be stacked neatly and set beside the mixing bowls, I just have to kind of throw them up there and it's his tough luck that he has to go looking for them whenever he wants a drink.

2. I love to bake biscuits! I love to bake biscuits so much that my family is sick to death of them. But I still bake them all the time. They are super fast to throw together in a pinch, it makes me feel like a real old-fashioned homemaker, and they are oh-so-yummy with melty butter and some fruity jam.

3. I love possums! I love possums almost as much as I love baking biscuits, except that biscuits don't have that potention rabies transmission risk. (which is why the biscuits made it to #2, which is above #3 on this list.)

4. I will never travel internationally. I hate airplanes. I spent a few years when my siblings lived out of state spending a lot of time on airplanes and for awhile I liked them, and then that changed to not minding them so much, and by the time my sister moved back to Indiana from Florida, I really hated flying. And so I have come to the conclusion that where I am is a good place to be, and if I want to be someplace outside of driving distance, well, that's just too bad for me.

5. There was this one time when Lisa Loeb came through our area on a tour and played at a couple of universities nearby. She didn't have an opening act, and I was involved in the local music scene and so I was invited to open for her for a couple of nights of her shows. I had pretty much forgotten about this after it happened, until I had kids and we listen to a lot of Elizabeth Mitchell (if you don't know her, look her up, you will love her) and she has an album with Lisa Loeb. I chuckle now, remembering that I did that funny thing long ago. She was a very nice lady!

6. I want a sheep farm. I do. I want to raise sheep for meat and fiber. I have always wanted to have a farm, ever since I was a little, little kid, and now that I'm a grownup I don't know why I haven't done it yet. But I really, really want to. And along with the sheep, I will have lots of dogs and cats because I really love dogs and cats. Especially cats....

7. I am a cat lady in training. I really should have a name badge or certificate to make this official. There are days when I look at my cats with the same kind of adoration with which I look at my children.

8. I was going to put down that I'm a procrastinator, but I'll do it for number nine..

9. Procrastination is my favorite hobby, next to knitting and snuggling my cats. I put off anything and everything for later, until I get that sudden angry urge to purge everything in my life and start over because everything has become such a huge mess. One example of this is how we're having a yard sale tomorrow (as I write this) because we'd really like to sell our house and move out of our scummy neighborhood. Last spring (an entire YEAR ago) we set an easy deadline of putting our house on the market on my birthday. That would be October 6th. For those of you without a calendar handy, I'll just tell you that my half birthday was a week ago.

10. I carry every day in my right hand pocket a Spyderco Delica knife with a green handle. It comes in handy for things like cutting yarn, be it from a knitting project or around the neck of a three year old, I'm always glad to have it. (Also, it'll be good if I ever need to stab a bad guy. Be afraid, bad guys. I have an excellent trainer.) If I don't have pockets I carry it on my skirt waistband. And I try not to mind when my skirt is saggy on one side.


Whew! I bet that's more about me than you wanted to know. Now, on to the questions from Joannie.

1. If you could be a fictional character for a day, who would it be?
:: I would be Robyn from the novel "Nice Work" by David Lodge. I can't really say why, but she is who I wish I was. (Sorry if you have no idea what I'm talking about. I couldn't think of anyone in current pop culture, she was the first one who came to mind.)

2. What's your favorite book of the Bible?
:: Zow. Can I just claim the entire Old Testament?

3. What's your favorite thing to cook or bake?
:: BISCUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
:: Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. HAND.DOWN.

5. Do you subscribe to any magazines?
:: Two! Country Living and Backwoods Home Magazine. They are like polar opposites of "country" magazines and they are the only two magazines I get.

6. Mac or PC?
:: What the Huh? I do all my internetting on an iPhone, but for big things we have this crappy laptop that we dig out. That's what I'm using now. We're never sure if it's going to live through startup. As a matter of fact, this evening things were looking pretty dire, but after a few restarts, it's still chugging. The scroll bar on the side isn't working, I have to use the arrow keys, but whatever.

7. What's your favorite city in the United States?
:: Lafayette, Indiana. (But if we go smaller than cities, I love Paoli, IN an awful lot... )

8. What's your go-to dinner for Fridays in lent?
:: GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SOUP FROM A CAN. We had it every single friday this lent. I do love it so.

9. If you could spend one day with someone in history, what date would you spend with whom?
:: I would spend July 29th, 1987 with Martin Schap. We never actually met each other (that we remember) as kids, but we came so close, so often! That would be his 5th birthday party. Maybe we would have played with his new legos together.

10. If you could have a super power, what would you want and why?
:: I would want a superpower that turns whatever screaming child I touch invisible. That way when I'm at the store and someone has an enormous fit, I could just place my hand gently on her shoulder and, "what? I don't hear anyone screaming.... I think you need to see a professional; there's no screaming child around here...."

Winter or Summer?
:: Until this year I would have said winter and meant it with all my heart. But right now I'm so sick of winter I'm ready to pack it up and move south. Summer.

Okay, now is the really hard part where I have to nominate 9 people. The problem is that I'm not sure I know 9 people with blogs. But I will try, and I KNOW that some of you got nominated by Joannie too, and I'm sorry.


My 11 questions for those lucky nine are:

1: Your favorite flower
2. What's your cooking "style" ?
3. Who was your first sweetheart?
4. Can you roll your tongue?
5. If you had to flee your house in the event of a fire, but you had time to grab two material possessions (children and pets not included) what would they be?
6. Beer, wine or liquor?
7. All-time favorite childrens book author or illustrator
8. In the event of waking up to discover that you are out of coffee, share your survival plan.
9. What's your favorite social media... thing? (what are these? channels? networks? I don't even know the lingo.)
10. Dogs or cats?
11. How do you prefer your eggs?

And that concludes this Liebster post. Thanks, Joannie!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cultural Differences

We had a very nice Easter. Except for that part where even though we woke up at 5:00 in the morning, we STILL couldn't get to Mass on time. We were about ten minutes late and stood in the back the entire time. NOT the ideal Easter Mass of my fantasies, but whatever. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

The girls had new dresses and new haircuts, which is something we splurge on twice a year, and they looked all matchy-matchy and darling. Greta is four now, which is very different from being three. She's a completely different person than she was a few months ago, and mostly in a good way. The stories about her aren't quite as funny because they aren't nearly as ridiculous, but you know what, lack of stories is totally worth the new found normalcy of our household. She still wears bowie dress 24 hours a day, but she no longer cries about being wet when she's in the bathtub. Well, not usually anyway, but there I guess there's been an occasional relapse.

Elka wants to be outside ALL. THE. TIME. Today I opened the window, and she scrambled as fast as she could to the window, then climbed on top of the dollhouse so that she could get her face right against the screen.  She stayed that way for a long time. We're all happy Spring is here.
It's funny when you live your life within your home and don't have much coming in from the outside world. It's funny what you don't know. It's funny to hear your own conversations that wouldn't make sense to anybody else who might be listening. "Mama, can Amy have one of your Nutcracker books to give to Thundersnow for her birthday?" This was something I was asked today, and of course I understood that Amy is the little stuffed kitten that had just come out of the wash and the Nutcracker books are these little books within an advent calendar that Anja is completely obsessed with, and Thundersnow is the stuffed cat who has a birthday almost every day of the year. These things are talked about regularly in our house. I'm sure other houses have the same kind of conversations that to outsiders are just complete nonsense, and it's funny.  And maybe at other houses too the children come up to their parents and seriously ask, "What kind of animal are you?" and you are expected to choose. And you might be asked to change three times in ten minutes, but that's just how it is, and you have to be ready for the switch. That's just how the day goes.

Anja and Greta are in ballet right now and it's HILARIOUS to watch them. They're kind of clueless. They try, and they LOVE it so much, but they just ("they", being especially directed toward "Greta") are just so bad at it. Last Tuesday she spent probably 1/3 of the time admiring her round tummy in the mirror while the rest of the class was practicing the dance they're learning for the recital. (Our girls won't be in the recital. I'm sure the other ballerinas are beyond grateful.) Greta spends a lot of time hopping. I don't know how familiar you are with ballet, and I admit that I am not a dancer on any level, but I know for a fact that "hopping" is not a regularly rehearsed ballet movement. (Nor is "belly admiration.") They do this thing at one point in the dance called "run and leap" from one side of the room to the other. It happens during the instrumental part of the song they dance to and you can imagine how graceful and beautiful it's supposed to be. I wish I had a video of Greta, bouncing and spinning from one side of the room to the other. If I didn't know that what they were doing was called "run and leap" I would never, ever, ever guess that's what she was trying to do. She doesn't run, she doesn't leap. She's like a little bouncy ball. And just like a bouncy ball, you never know where she's going to end up, and often she arrives at a place where she isn't supposed to be. Luckily, the teacher is very sweet and redirects her kindly.

And I have to wonder as I sit there, stifling my laughter, am I expected to talk to them about how to dance? Am I supposed to encourage them to stop admiring themselves in the mirror and follow directions? Because I don't really want to. I LIKE the way they dance. I don't care if they are a step behind everyone else! They are having so much fun and they feel so beautiful! If I were to tell them to try harder and keep up with the rest of the class and stop making faces in the mirror, that would totally kill the joy. There's no way I'm doing that! I have never thought of my kids as being especially "spirited" but compared to the other little ballerinas they are pretty.... hyper. Which is funny because I've seen hyper kids, and my kids are not hyper at all. Anyway, all the other little girls follow the directions and do the moves at the right time and start their run-and-leaps at one side of the room and end up directly on the other side. Just like they are supposed to.

But my kids don't. And that's okay.

I'm thinking of homeschooling. Actually, I'm thinking of moving to a cave, far away from civilization where our only friends are stuffed cats named Amy and Thundersnow.

But I'll come back into Reality on Tuesdays, for ballet!

And this is my "Lark Rise to Candleford Shawl" that I just finished and that is now a permanent part of my body I love it so much Elka is crying I have to go