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London is so Diverting…

9 Nov

…as many an Austen character might tell you, but, apparently, so is the blogosphere. I sat down with Muriel (my trusty laptop) about an hour ago intending to whip up a witty and entertaining October Review including, but not limited to, Halloween pics of the munchkins, a book review or two, and a mad-dash recap of some of our recent homeschooling adventures. Through the seemingly innocent act of checking my email first, however, I ended up downloading a cute new dress pattern, checking out Tula Pink’s new fabric line (LUV IT), taking a Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You quiz (link in the sidebar), and reading a (an?) hilarious fictional interview with Emma Thompson on (I’m Elinor Dashwood, by the way. Hooray! No surprises there.) I kept telling myself I could stop anytime I wanted to… but one link led to the next and I just kept reading and clicking… and now it’s time to tuck the kids in bed and write (serious novel writing, not blog writing) so the Halloween pics will just have to wait.

I am easily distracted by metaphorical shiny objects (good books, impressive craft projects, vintage objects of curious origin, random scientific facts) , I know. And when I’m seething in frustration that it has taken my children 30 minutes to brush their teeth because they keep getting distracted by the rhythm of the dripping water or the double funny face reflections they can make in the beveled part of the mirror (so cool)  I know it’s my own fault. They got that from me.  It’s a miracle I ever wrote a novel, I tell you what, because every time I toggled over to Google to check a thesaurus or a French term of endearment or I entered the realm of Wikipedia to check a (an?) historical fact I could have easily gotten lost in absorption-of-information mode. And sometimes I did. But ultimately I did not want to be that girl who’s Always a Jeopardy Champion, Never a Published Author, so I clicked the red X and persevered. Yeah, Wikipedia and I are frenemies.

And see? Here I am still rambling when I should be reading the bedtime stories and setting to work on editing and revising said finished novel. So I’m going now.

Just one more thing.

I normally wouldn’t recommend this type of blog post because of the, ummm… adult language involved, but if you are a Project Runway fan at all, and you’ve watched season 8, and you know the story of the Gretchen drama, then you need to read this. Hi-lar-i-ous. Seriously. This one diverted my attention when I should have been balancing the checkbook.




Old Window, Old Poem, New Art

6 Oct

I’ve had this old window for a couple of years…just sitting around…waiting to be used for something fabulous, but I was never quite sure what. Until last night. Then this idea hit me. It’s just a Sharpie, a little Dickinson, and an old piece of glass, but I love it! And hope is the thing with feathers, isn’t it? I think so.

Love, AM

How About a Floranym? (and yes, I made that up)

27 Jun

Thanks to everyone who made a suggestion as to the name of my new dress form. I now know of a certainty that at least four of you read my blog on a somewhat occasional basis and all my hard work and cleverness is not for naught (snort, snicker). I highly value and respect the opinions of my three relatives who commented and I value the opinion of the one total stranger who commented more than I would value, say, a cheeseburger. However, after much deliberation and careful contemplation I have to decided to make up a word: Floranym, and name my sewing companion:

Bluebell Fancy-Bottom

(all Fancy-Bottom credit to Andrea)

By the way, did you know an astronym is a name derived from a star? An odonym from a street or road? Wow, what an educational and entertaining blog this is.



Our Week Has Been…

19 Jun


We finished the family quilt and it has already served as the catalyst for much snuggling, fort building, and living room floor picnicking. I have to thank my dear friend for passing along those solid color fabric samples; they really aren’t my style (or hers) and I just thought I would end up letting the kids play with them, maybe make a game to help R learn his colors, that sort of thing. But when we laid them out on the floor in a kind of color order, lo and behold, they turned into something I hadn’t thought they could be: beautiful. So thanks, dear friend.

Now, when I say ‘we’ finished the quilt, what I actually mean is I finished the quilt, due to something else our week has been around here…


Yes, that is a 100 L size bin full of Star Wars toys that we got FOR FREE. I don’t know if people do this in other cities, but in Missoula, this is a common practice: If you have something you no longer want and either don’t want to or can’t sell, you put it on the curb in front of your house with a sign that says FREE. We have rid ourselves of many items in this way, we have gained many items in this way. Including, now, a Millennium Falcon, a Jabba-the-Hut, and a Rancor Monster, just to name a few.

So, R, do you want to help Mommy sew the quilt?

Nah, I want to play with my Shtar Wars Shtip (we’re working on enunciation).

How about you, L? Wanna sew?

Mom, check this out! There are two young Obe Wan Kanobes and two old Obe Wan Kanobes. I’m Obe Wan Kanobe. No, I’m Obe Wan Kanobe. Hey, let’s sing a song about being Obe Wan Kanobe.

Well, that’s alright. Mom sewed, kids played and all was well.

Our week has also been…


No, that is not wet cement on R’s face, it is black licorice ice cream from Big Dipper. L also ate ice cream, huckleberry in fact, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her.

How does that happen? Is it her and her dainty personality, or is it all girls? Is R’s sticky 5 o’clock shadow the result of his boisterous-ness, or is that all boys? I wonder.

Books that have shaped our week:

Along with this movie:

That is to say, my week has been influenced by Sherlock Homes and Bright Star. Not the kids or B so much. But I loved this movie. It’s one of those picturesque British period pieces that I can’t help but love for the sake of the costuming and the accents (and, in this case, the poetry), even if the story is tragic and depressing.

And last, but not least, this week has brought, you may have noticed, my own inexplicable urge to blog more often. Huh. Weird.

How was your week?

Love, AM

Family Quilt, Grocery Haiku

15 Jun

Reading aloud to my children is one of my favorite things to do. On a typical day, the three of us will read together for an hour or more in the afternoon, plus another half hour or more at bedtime. I like to give them carte blanc at the library, to get them excited about their choices, and then to ask them questions about the story and what they think will happen before the next page turn. I am always amazed at the insightful answers they give. Even with L reading on her own now (chapter books!), reading aloud together is still a major harmonizer for this mamma and her babes.

But this past week, I’ve had a cold. And a sore throat. And my voice has been nearly gone. It’s not that I can’t read out loud so much as I just don’t feel like it. I hate not wanting to; it makes me sad. B will read to the kids when he’s home, but, as great as Daddy is at wrestling, hide-and-seek, and knowledge-of-all-things-Superman, he just doesn’t do stories like Mom (ie: he doesn’t do the voices).  I needed to find something the three of us could do together; a quiet, engaging project that would bring us as physically and mentally and spitirually close as our usual afternoon stories-and-snuggles sessions.  The solution? A family quilt.

L,R, and I designed it, cut it, laid it out, measured it, and have begun to sew it, using only fabric and materials that we already had on hand at home. Even Buzz Lightyear has pitched in. I think we will end up yarn-tying it rather than actually quilting, once we have it all pieced, just because that’s more on the kids’ skill level. It not even finished and I already have a special place in my heart for this nothing fancy, homemade, hand-made, love-made quilt that hasn’t cost a dime. It will be the perfect thing for snuggling up and reading stories once I’m feeling up to it again.  Now I know these pics aren’t much of a preview, but photos of the finished product will be coming soon.

To end things on a random note, I was putting away groceries earlier this evening when my sister-in-law, whose quick wit and ready vocabulary frequently inspire my green-eyed monster to rear her pretty little head (what? some monsters are pretty), challenged me to make up a haiku, based on what I was doing, on the spot. And here it is:

I opened the bag

It’s my fault, the grapes falling

Regret stains like grapes

BOOYAH. Deep, right? 🙂

Soar on,


We Should All Turn Ourselves In Now…

10 Jun

Apparently, I have committed a felony on more than one occasion. And so has B. And so have you, and everyone else you know. Free Unsolicited Advice: Familiarize yourself with the laws in your state:

Hey you- yeah, you in California. I see you with that Navel Cutie in one hand and your clarifying shampoo in the other. You can’t run from the long, weird arm of the law. I’m watching you.