Grizzly Man Timothy Treadwell

First we watched the game at our friend’s house. Lootie’s candid. He was rooting for The Team That Wasn’t The Packers, even though that wasn’t the most comfortable thing to do. In a room full of Packer fans, you’re either with them — or against them. We had pizza, cheeses, dolmati, vino, salami.

After the game was over and the tears were dry, we loafed around, flipping through the channels. We stopped on Animal Planet, intrigued by a show called Grizzly Man. Movie about this guy who spent years and years living in nay-chur alongside the grizzly bears.

Let me back up and say that the friends we were with share a mutual adoration with us for the movie Best in Show. We quote it randomly, giggling like high-schoolers.

Back to Grizzly Man. Literally, we could not figure out if this movie was for real or what. Right down to the narrator’s accent. Mockumentary? Documentary? I think we knew deep down that it was real, but it was surreal that it could actually not be a mockumentary because it sure would have made a good one. The A prime example:

To set the things straight I finally googled the darn thing. It really is for real.

Heath Ledger Found Dead


NEW YORK (AP) — Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence, and police said drugs may have been a factor. He was 28. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let him know the masseuse had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m. – [link]

Group Picture

The boys did a wrestling tournament last weekend. Have you ever been to a wrestling tournament? They’re exhausting. They really are. Exciting, fun… but exhausting. Last year Lootie was the only one wrestling. I think we went to three or more tourneys. There was a lot of “downtime” waiting for each match, but we’d rest, eat, spectate… just waiting for his next match. This year, all four boys are wrestling. Downtime isn’t so much of a problem anymore. Being at the mat during simultaneous matches is now the big issue.

The first tournament Frank was with off and able to attend. This made things much, much easier because I knew that if I wasn’t at the mat (with one of the boys), he was. I got to see most of the matches (it worked out that way), but missed two of DT’s (the oldest). After the meet was over, Frank and I were pretty well exhausted from cheering, running and dehydration (we both forgot to drink, I guess — the upside of dehydration is the minimal potty breaks, woohoo!!).

I got a good amount of video, but not too many pictures. Here’s one, Franny (the smallest):

(click any for larger)

Franny had a super old-school singlet on for the first tournament. The club had run out of the small singlets, save this one from the 1980s. Leave it to my child to take it. And wear it. Even though his older brothers told him how pansy it looked, he stayed strong and wore that singlet like nobody’s bidness.

After the tourney was over, and all the boys had their medals, their loving father requested one more thing: group picture of coarse!! Evident in the pictures to follow, the twins were eager to pose, the elder two ready to go home.

First photo, all is well and tolerated.

Second photo, “Do a wrestling pose,” says dad. Older boys attention already waning.

Third photo, one last “Grrrrrr” for the camera now. Look at Lootie’s wide-eyed expression. Know where he got that face from? His momma. I’ve been caught doing it many, many times on family videos.

Oldest to youngest: (L-R) Tough guy. Wrestle-mania fan. Trying not to smile. Attempting some form of hand/finger coolness but not knowing what exactly to do with them.

The following weekend I was alone, Frank at work. It was chaotic but fun. I didn’t see any of DT’s matches, only parts of Looties, but all of the twins (nearly missing Sal’s last match). I felt it most important for the little guys to see me in their corner. Still, though, I felt bad for Lootie who is only 2 years older than the twins and had to face the mat alone with nobody, not even a coach. He didn’t complain, though, not once.

. . .

I started another scarf. I say “another” because now I have two going. One is green and frilly, the other is striped and not-so-frilly. Both are not holding my attention, though, and I fear I will be starting another scarf here and have three in my rotation.

The Hinna-Hin

They call her the Hinna-Hin.

The Hinna-Hin

Years ago I collected Anne Geddes dolls. Just… don’t ask. My past obsessive-collecting of these dolls and the non-existence of that collection now is a prime example of (things) that seem soooo dang important, not being important.

My collection and collecting of these dolls, sunflower baby, rabbit baby, etc., came to a screeching halt when Sal, the younger of the twins, was a toddler. He flat out wouldn’t go near them. The choice between cuddling up with a rabid animal, frothing at the mouth, and an Anne Geddes doll would have been painful.

I tried to unload them at a garage sale, practically giving them away. One kind lady fell in love with a couple remaining dolls and I gave them to her at a mercy price, thankful to her for getting them out of my house.

The rabbit/Hinna-Hin remained.

Frank threw Hinna-Hin in the trunk of his car to take to the dumpster. But time went by and he forgot to dispose of her, and one day, as we were driving, Franny (the other twin), reached into the trunk (we have back seats you can pull down and access the trunk) and laughed. “Guess what’s in here Sal?!!” He pulled her out. An older (8-year-old) Sal wasn’t scared, but had refined his reaction, now conveying repulsion. They giggled and laughed about the Hinna-Hin, setting it in the seat, mimicking Twilight Zone doll who could not be killed. Sal was a good sport, and though he laughed, I could tell he still did not like the doll.

Recently, somehow, the oil-stained creature has made it back into our home. Sal will touch her, but only to move her far away from him. He can talk and laugh about the Hinna’, but keeps a steady eye on her with that curious fear we all get sometimes with things that ook us out, but we can’t help to steal a glance.

Cloth Napkins

We’re not working with much cash right now. Annoying and stressful as it is, it is also a bit humbling. It forces us to really look at where we are spending and how we can make a difference. I say “us” but I really mean “me” because Frank doesn’t have anything to do with any of our money. Besides earning it. So many times I’ve said that I need to sit him down with me while I pay bills to he can see where the money goes.

. . . . .

A while ago I was reading up on some ways to be thrifty and came across some information on cloth napkins, which… inspired me. We could try cloth napkins, I thought. First, I planned on making some. I scoured my house for fabric but found none. I also didn’t think I’d be satisfied with the outcome of my own sewing. So I kept my eye open at Goodwill for some. They did occasionally have them, but they were .69 cents a piece and something in my head told me that was too much to pay for used cloth napkins. Found some at Pier I, but they were muy expensive. I found some at TJMaxx and was thisclose to buying them. They were $10 for a pack of 6, I believe. Buuuuuuut didn’t get them, thought Goodwill was a better bet. With 7 people in our house, we’d need at least two packages, and $20? Bah. Couldn’t bring myself to do it. I kept the cloth napkin idea on the shelf, but didn’t want to settle for anything less than a bargain.

In Target one day post-Christmas, there was a sale on all the leftover Holiday goodies. 75% off. I was looking for wrapping paper and scotch tape, maybe some chocolates. But you know what I saw? Some rectangular packages, red cloths… my mind clicked. Napkins!! At $9.99 each my tired brain tried to calculate what they would be at the discount. Realizing that this was the best price for brand, spanking NEW napkins, I took all they had and put them in my cart to “think” on it for a bit. I knew I’d want 4 for sure, maybe five. But I hoarded all available napkins in my cart for safe keeping. I did end up purchasing them, but my hoarding came back and bit me in the butt because I forgot that I had grabbed ALL of them, and at the checkout I just threw everything on the moving belt and paid.

Cloth Napkins

Patience paid off. I’m very glad I waited, and I’m not bent out of shape that I got a few extra with the deal. They’re red, so they don’t show stains and I can throw them in with my colored laundry. It seemed like I had way too many at first, but the good thing is I don’t have to worry about them running out.

We’ve used them for a week now, and haven’t run out. And we don’t frivolously use up the napkins, as we did with paper ones. My oldest son wondered if we were really saving money, considering they would need to be washed. However, in the long run I think it is more economical and less wasteful. And, everyone enjoys wiping their hands on the cloth napkins. It is kind of a treat. The other day we had Buffalo Wings. How nice it was to wipe our hands on the cloth napkins and not have to use paper, which peels and rips, leaving sticky paper attached to fingers. I smiled at Frank, happily, hearing little pennies go “cha-ching” adding up in my head the benefit of the cloth napkins.

Here’s some links to articles on making your own cloth napkins — I might just try them. Some flannel ones might be nice. But as far as purchasing goes, I’ll keep my eye open after holidays. I’m sure making them would be more cost-effective. I’m a little rusty at the whole sewing thing, never making it past novice, high-school sewing class, but I could probably handle some squares.
Family Homestead

New Post, New Year

Well hello again. Last time I posted it was 2007. New year, new post, new focus. I plan to update and re-arrange things around As I change my personal focus, the site may see some changes as well.

Christmas is over. It went well. Gifts exchanged, family-time spent and an inch increase of the waistline (I’m guessing, I have no evidence to back that up, nor do I really want to face the scale right now).

It is only five days in to the new year, and though I don’t like new year’s resolutions, I do like to remind myself of what is important, where I may have went off track, how I would like to change things. I used to keep a personal planner. For years I did. A couple years ago I stopped. And, honestly, I can see the difference. So this year I am starting it up again. Writing in my appointments, deadlines and keeping lists. Financial planning is high on the list for me. Keeping (much better) records of where money is spent, so I can see where the leaks are. The credit card bill hit a max over the past month, going over and surprising us with a $40 late fee. Not good. We had that paid off. Paid off. Yes, I said it. Spend on it once, and… well.

So I’m going to whittle that down as much as possible. Pay it off with taxes (again), and then freeze the thing in a block of ice. Unfortunately, for emergencies, we need it. Until we can build up a savings.

Student loans I have ignored and denied. I need to face up to them. And I will.

I hope 2008 brings you renewed determination as well.