17 January 2018

Tall People Problems

My shoes are the purple ones on top.  Woodjie's boots are in the middle and Emperor's new boots are (sort of) in the bin on the bottom.

Emperor is 16 now and he has his permit.  You would THINK that a minivan is not a little car, and therefore just about anyone not starring in "My 600 Pound Life" should be able to squeeze in and go, right? 

Nope.

No matter how we adjust the seat or torque the steering column up and down, my child looks like he is giving birth to the steering wheel.  I know the smartie engineers over at Chevy were so busy building cars that don't explode and maybe even last a while (my Chevy is 16 years old!) that they forgot to account for the dimensions of actual people who are over five feet tall.

Poor Emperor.  Now he has to duck to go down the stairs.  He is only 6ft 6, but he is still growing and it's actually getting to be a bit of a problem because I now realise most things are just too little, including some doorways.

Even our furniture is all totally and absolutely wrong.  When he's at the table trying to eat, Emperor's face is so far above his plate that everything will slop on the way to his mouth.  So he slouches wayyy down to try to minimise this.  I'm not sure he's even aware he's doing it.


I am working with a woodworker on Etsy to make a cherry wood place setting for him so he can eat at the table like a normal human being.  I don't want a flimsy short "breakfast tray."  I want something beautiful and made just for him to my specifications (note the highly detailed concept drawing I sent that poor woodworker).  I cannot wait to see what it looks like when it is done.  It will be a while.


I am hoping that this custom piece will help solve the terrible backaches he's been getting, trying to live in a little people world.  Above are some of the exercises he has to do and hopefully they help a little.  Otherwise, it's back to the doctor and maybe physical therapy.

One last pet peeve and I'll open the floor for comments (and ideas, please!).  Who on earth decided that "tall" is between 6ft 1 and 6ft 3?  That's the height range Eddie Bauer clothes will fit, and they're one of the better manufacturers I've found so far.  I positively love love love the bargain we got on their boots (it is not easy getting a men's size 14 at this price!) but it seems the best I can do at the moment is to buy the "tall" products in this catalogue and let the kid look like a white Urkel.  I found a few "specialty" shops about on the internet but at $160 to $200 for a sweatshirt, it's not happening any time soon.



16 January 2018

My Great-Great Grandmother


This is my great-great grandmother, Catherine Cavanaugh.  She was born in 1860 and this photo (which I have digitally filtered from the original, which has yellowed) was taken in 1865.  Isn't she cute?  Both of her parents were born in Ireland, so for this little branch of my family tree, she is the first to be American from birth.

09 January 2018

The Stupidest Company on the Planet

Ahhh, foreigners.  Recently Swedish company H&M's ad featured a little black boy wearing a "Coolest Monkey in the Jungle" sweatshirt.  These people just didn't think about things that might be racially sensitive from an American perspective.  Lemme give you a little clue: there might be a reason for that.

When I lived in Australia, do you know how many people of African descent I met and chatted with in my almost three years of living there?  Zero.  None.  So hearing tales of the "Krispy Kreme Klub" (KKK for short!) popping up in Europe hardly surprised me.  People in charge of marketing probably didn't think about racial-anything any more than than they'd think of the Crispy Creme Club (CCC for short!) being a problem.  It was perhaps insensitive, but I can't say they had it out for anyone.

I will say this, though:   if you're from elsewhere and decide to advertise here in America?  What the heck?  Please get a few Americans who have lived in this country for their entire lives to peek over your content before publishing. It would be a great idea.




03 January 2018

Yes, It's Pretty Cold Here.

I tried lighting a fire here and found out that 1. my four-year-old lighter doesn't work well; and 2. being unable to lift over ten pounds means I can't add logs to the fire once I get everything lit.  I'm brilliant I guess... but I just didn't think about it when I began.  That's okay.  The whole fire smoked and didn't catch anyway.  I set off every alarm in the house and the carbon monoxide detector started yelling at me to evacuate. 

Random photo of my coffee mug.
I opened every door and window in the -7 degree weather for a little bit instead.  Now I'm just using the heater and shivering like a normal person but my house smells of old ashtrays and failed dreams.  :)

This year I bought a huuuge can of cocoa mix from Sam's Club and it's a good thing, too.  About half of my children really love a good cup of hot cocoa.  I'm not sure why everyone doesn't, but considering I have a child who hates caramel and potatoes, sometimes there is just no reason for these things.


23 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

Hope this Christmas finds you and your families happy and well.  Pictured is my father (r) and his twin (l) in their coonskin caps in 1954.  I think this is the longest I've ever seen their hair in photographs until they became hippie freaks in the 60's and let it grow out a whole two inches.

Finding Gobi

Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog's Big Journey by Dion Leonard arrived just as we were searching for a homeschool reading book for Woodjie.  Boys love adventure stories and they love dogs, so it was perfect! 

Woodjie is 11 and this book was about at his reading level.  He would be a fifth grader if he went to school.  What he liked about the book was the idea of this little doggie befriending the author on his run, just tagging along.  Later, the author goes to great lengths to find Gobi and bring him home. 

The only criticism I'd have - and it's a small one - is that sometimes younger readers don't understand some of the concepts presented in the book as givens.  For example, a child mightn't understand the "dangers" of speaking to the press in a foreign country.  It would be nice if some of these concepts were spelled out a bit better but it wasn't a biggie.  I was right there listening to him read the whole book aloud during my recent surgery recovery... so I could explain everything I felt he needed to know as we went along.  A charming book!  With photos!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

10 December 2017

Still Here!

Woodjie fixing dinner.

I've had some major surgery which I'll just describe as "about as extensive as your Thanksgiving turkey underwent this year and also very similar."  I'm home now and recovering rather nicely so far, but it's been a hard go of everything, really.  Perhaps preparing for a large and horrendously embarrassing surgery is the worst bit of it emotionally and physically.

Anyway.  One thing I did do (to my credit!) was to teach the littlest children to make grilled cheese before I went to hospital.  All I have to do now is pop the burner on and make sure there is some margarine, bread and cheese handy.  So Woodjie not only made us all dinner the other night, he let me know that I'm the best mommy EVER because I allowed him.  (Yay!)

Rose is also doing her own hair now.  Her part is not perfectly straight but it's a pretty decent job of two simple braids.  Now she will do her hair every morning all by herself.  I am well enough now that I did her hair this morning just because.

Rose can do her own hair.
I planned way ahead and ordered all kinds of homeschooling video lesson$, but wouldn't you know that the computer picked just that time to crash and/or not recognise the various players and websites etc etc?  So that hasn't worked well so far.  Oh well.