Tag Archives: Family

27 Dresses…Maybe just 4 and some curtains

“The best part about it is that you can shorten it, and wear it again.”

“Definitely, so true!”

I loved the movie 27 Dresses. It’s fun and silly, and I can watch it over and over again.

It reminds me of some of the bridesmaids dresses I’ve worn, but none were as bad as the ones I made my wedding party wear. ūüôā

27 Dresses…Maybe just 4 and some curtains

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Demon Dog to Cuddle

I’m having one of those weeks when deadlines at the day job (and editing my final draft of my¬†middle grade book!) make the blog a distant priority. (If you read yesterday’s post, you know what I mean. Sorry about that. *sheepish grin*)

To make it up to you, I give you Demon Dog to keep you company:

Diana Beebe's Blog

Looking a little scruffy…Mockingbird needs to groom her dog.

Mockingbird adopted her from a local ASPCA almost two years ago. She even used her own money.

Demon Dog is a sweet, gentle “velcro” kind of dog and makes a nice addition to the family. She’ll sit in your lap and lick your face off. ūüôā

Share your pet stories in the comments while I attend to a few insane deadlines.  {{{Hugs}}}

Confessions of the Musically Challenged

Hi, my name is Diana and I’m musically challenged.

Isn’t that a lovely euphamism for “I suck at music”? How about “pitch deprived”? Or, “note ignorant”?

Forget the euphamisms. I suck at music. It is a skill I wished I had sometimes. I’m surrounded by people who know music. They can read music.¬†The running joke in my family is that musical talent skipped my generation. Well, it definitely skipped me.

Diana Beebe's Blog

Growing up, I fiddled around on the old piano that we had but didn’t take lessons. My brother taught me how to play the basics of “Chopsticks” while he played the more complicated parts around me.

In middle school, music was a requirement. I picked choir, because I was terrified of failing at playing an instrument. I had a decent voice back then, so it was an easy choice. The choir director had quite an…er…interesting group of kids who had various levels of interest and talent. She taught us the notes on the treble and bass clefs, but I never learned to read them. (If you take just the notes in the spaces of the treble clef, they spell FACE. Yep, that’s what I remember.) Still today, if you played a note and asked me what it was, I’d have no clue.

I knew to sing a higher note if the note on the page went up. If I didn’t know the song already, then I didn’t really know what note to sing next. I felt sorry for Mrs. Petrash at the UIL sight reading competition. We sounded like a cacophony of wounded animals.

The Armadillo can play the piano. She already understands some musical theory. She gets what major and minor mean. I have NO clue. She heard her grandmother practicing piano (they take lessons together) and corrected her, “Not in minor.”

When she got a new piano music book, she was so excited. Here’s our conversation:

The Armadillo: “This book¬†has ‘Blow the Man Down.’ What’s that?”

Me: A pirate song.

The Armadillo: “Cool. Then it should be in minor. You know, ’cause pirates are usually bad guys.”

Me:  *blink blink*

The Armadillo: “Let me read you the notes for ‘Hot Cross Buns.’ E D C…”

Me:¬†*Laughs*¬†“I¬†don’t know what that means.”

The Armadillo: *blink blink* “Didn’t you ever¬†play an instrument? I thought you played a¬†horn. How¬†can you¬†not read music?”

Dynasty II French Horn Bugle

Dynasty II French Horn Bugle

It’s true that in high school I played a French Horn bugle. It is what it sounds like. A bugle built to sound like a French Horn. It resembles a marching French Horn, but it’s a bugle. I was pretty good at playing it, too. I loved it, actually, for a few reasons.¬†It wasn’t a soprano or tenor bugle (those killed my lips), and there were only two of us who played it in the entire corps. Also, I didn’t have to read music to be successful. Most of us in my high school drum and bugle corps learned by ear and memorization. Remember my choir music-reading experience? Yeah, it’s a good thing no one made us do that. If someone was really bad (because they didn’t practice, maybe), then they faked it on the field (not pointing any fingers at my sister, or anything. ūüėČ )

Music is one area where I’m happy to let my husband help our daughters when they have a question about music or what they are practicing. They can ask me if they want, but all they’ll get is…

*blink blink*

What musical skills or talents do you have–or wish you have?¬† I’d love to hear about it!

If you want to vote on which comic book cover Armadillo picked, go here. I’ll post the results and the answer this week!

Who Needs Flowers Anyway?

Most people create beautiful landscaping in their front yards. Curving flower beds, lined with stones or rocks or edging. We did that, too.

But we live in North Texas. Have you experienced a typical summer in North Texas? It’s HOT.
Year after year, we would buy several flats of flowers and make the flowerbeds all pretty in the spring. Then by the end of June, the flowers start to look haggard. By August, the several days of intense 100+ degree heat will have fried the plants to a crisp.

What did we have to show for all the hard planting work?
Not much. Mostly a bunches of dried up, scraggly plants in the flower beds that have to be cleaned up. Bleh.

What could we do to have pretty flower beds, but not toss a lot of money out in the compost trash when it all died?

Plant a garden!

One of the side gardens with four different kinds of lettuce in front of the broc.

One of the side gardens with four different kinds of lettuce in front of the broc.

Winter vegetables are very pretty and love the cold. If you’re in a climate that doesn’t have frozen ground in the winter and you want to garden, why not plant a garden in the front flower beds?¬† One of the garden experts at our local feed store told me once that he doesn’t plant anything in his front yard unless it’s edible. He doesn’t have much of a backyard, so he takes advantage of what he does have.

This is the second year that we’ve planted broccoli–more than 40 plants across the entire length of the beds. They have lettuce and carrots and spinach to keep them company–although those aren’t growing as I expected. *pouts*

Would you plant your vegetable garden in your front flower beds?¬† What would you plant? I’d love to hear your gardening plans or experiences!

Geek Mom Strikes Again

Comic books are awesome!¬† When I was little, I was so happy when we would get to buy them. I still have one of my very first comic books. It was Disney’s Scamp (Tramp and Lady’s errant son). My sister and I had a few others with that same level of fun and silliness.

Then there was my Thundercats stage, which coincided with my Spider-Man stage but didn’t last as long.¬†I read DC comics, too, (Wonder Woman, mostly).

There is something to be said about kids and literacy and comic books–they can only encourage kids to read. I found this great article by Charlie Brooks, a¬†geek dad,¬†about getting younger kids to read by using comic books. He has good suggestions for comics that are kid friendly (and not violent and oversexed as some of the superhero and supervillain ones¬†are).

What’s not to love about comic books? They are colorful and action packed and feed imaginations in ways that books and movies can’t.¬† Comic books give visual clues that¬†we don’t get from¬†novels and yet still leave more to the imagination than TV or movies. They can be a good gateway to reading books. (A gateway to reading, not drugs…sheesh.)

When I stumbled on the new My Little Pony comic books, I knew I had to get them.¬†My¬†kids don’t need encouragement to read, but they love the My Little Pony humor. I bought the first one and gave it to the girls to share. They loved it. This geek mom was so proud. *wipes eyes*

When it was time to get the next one, I tried to get them to go to the comic book store with¬†me.¬†Mockingbird looked at me as if I’d grown another head.¬†Armadillo, on the other hand, squeed and said, “Comic books! Yea!”

At least one of my daughters is mine. ūüėČ

The latest thing about comic books is to make at least three different covers for every edition. What? You want me to choose which cover I want? I want them all!

Which one did the seven-year-old Armadillo pick? Cover C wasn't available.

Which one did the seven-year-old Armadillo pick? Cover C wasn’t available.

*cough*

Since buying more than one copy is not a viable option (unless it’s Spider-Man #700…*whistles and walks away*), I let Armadillo pick the cover she wanted. Do you think you can guess which cover she picked?

I’ll reveal the answer later this week. ūüėÄ

Are you a comic book fan? If so, what have been your favorite titles?

Something Light and Fluffy

After the super, heavy seriousness of my recent deathmatch with my dishwasher, I think we all need something light and fluffy.

So…

Pillows!

The newest generation of My LIttle Pony characters

The shirt from kindergarten outgrown too soon… It’s hard to see in this picture, but she put pretty multi-colored cording around the entire seam. It matches perfectly!

If you’ve got kiddos, there is a really good chance that he or she has a favorite shirt. One that they want to wear and wear and wear, even when it’s two sizes too small. The Armadillo loved these two My Little Pony shirts. She cried both times when they didn’t fit anymore. So I saved them.

Rainbow Dash from the last generation of ponies.

The shirt from preschool…bought too large on purpose; it wasn’t big enough to last forever.

The daughter of one of my friends loves to sew and design, so I asked if she would convert the shirts into pillows. She did a fabulous job, don’t you think? And Armadillo loves them and keeps them on her bed.

Some people collect their cherished baby and toddler clothes and make them into quilts. My friend told me that she saw one that was a pieced quilt. All the onesies and shirts were cut up into pieces, some of them even had tiny babyfood stains. Cute, right?

What about you? Do you have a favorite thing from your childhood or your children’s childhood that you’ve saved or converted into something else?

You Can’t Drive to Hawai’i!

How did this revelation take place?

We were talking about vacations: ones we’ve taken and ones we’d like to take. Hawai’i was in the middle of the mix because family friends go nearly every year. The car reference was based on renting a car once on the island–My little one heard only part of the conversation. She thought I wanted to drive there. (D’oh!) LOL.

OK, Smartypants, if you can’t drive to Hawai’i, then how can you get there? By plane or boat, of course.

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

I don’t know about you and your family, but we have a how-to-travel debate often. One doesn’t want to fly. One does want to fly. Another goes cross-eyed looking at airfares for a family of four. The last cringes at the driving route across several states.

So, the thought of taking a boat to Hawai’i…. I can’t even fathom it. An expensive, long cruise on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn’t sound like fun to me.

My BFF has taken a few driving trips halfway across the states, crisscrossing and site seeing for weeks at a time. A different hotel every night. A different adventure everyday. If driving to Hawai’i was an option, I bet her family would do it.

Whew! I’m already tired.

So my daughter asked if we ever went to Hawai’i would we take a boat or a plane, as if there was a choice. I wiped tears of laughter off my face. Did she really ask me that?

Where do you want to travel and how would you get there? Have you already been on an adventure that included different modes of transportation? Would you ever travel that way again?

Fit to be Twisted

I’ve been accused of being twisted sometimes. It’s true. My twistedness reveals itself at surprising times. But I’m not writing to share about my twisted sense of humor. I’m writing about a towel.

A couple of Christmases ago, my mom gave me something that made me wonder. I remember thinking, “Huh. What are these strange little towels that Mom gave me?” Turbie Twist towels?¬† I was skeptical and maybe a little put out that I got towels for Christmas.¬† ¬†(Sorry, Mom!)turbietwist

Some smart woman got tired of twisting her just-washed hair into a bath towel that may or may not stay piled and balanced on top of her head. Forget picking up after a toddler or leaning over to pick up anything without the bath towel flopping off her head.

After one use, I was in love. My older daughter was, too. Two or three years later, the little elastic loop on my original Turbie Twist is stretched and elastic-less. Don’t care. One of these days, I’ll fix that, but it still works.

My younger daughter has been asking for her own “hair towel” for months. The requests escalated after she used mine. My towel disappeared one day. I found it in the girls’ bathroom. Coincidence? I think not.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, my mom-in-law asked me about little gifts she could get for the girls’ stockings, I told her about the Turbie Twist towels. I think she may have looked at me sideways, a little, like I was crazy, but she picked up enough for all four of her granddaughters.

When my younger daughter found that pink “head towel” in her gifts from her grandparents, she was thrilled. (Yes, my child was happy to get a towel for Christmas!)

The BFF laughed at my story. But as Fate would have it, she found herself in a store one day staring at a huge wall display of Turbie Twist towels. She bought a set. Then I got this note from her yesterday (personal details edited out and quoted with permission):

I have a new obsession! Yesterday after talking with you on the phone …¬† There was a huge wall display of Turbie towels. I stared at them for a long while wondering what was the fascination with these little towels? I was looking for some new pillow cases, but walked out with a Turbie towel 2 pack :). I couldn’t resist after our conversation …. I used it this morning for the first time and I loved it! I have been using 2 towels forever. One for my hair and one for my body. I would twist the towel up on my head and walk around like that for awhile. This Turbie towel was so much lighter on my head. I fell in love with it! I can’t believe I had never heard of this wonderful invention. My head was so light and free this morning! I even looked at towels while I was there. That is one (of many) things I want for my new home. This time I will only have to buy 2 towels instead of 4 – what a savings of money and laundry time! Thank you so much for telling me about this wonderful product!

Seriously, the BFF would make a great commercial. She ended by asking if there was a blog post in there somewhere. D’oh!

Then this morning, she told me she didn’t have to take the towel off to put her turtleneck on. Try that with a bath towel piled on your head!

While I ponder why I wasn’t smart enough to cut and sew towel fabric in such a way that I could comfortably wear my wet hair in the lightly twisted knot, the sisters who did are thinking, “Yeah, we were smart enough.”

This video shows how simple it is. The kiddo in the video is adorable, too.

BTW–I have no connection to the company. I just love the product. I don’t know why I didn’t think to share this with everyone sooner!

While I think about those really cute animal print ones that I saw at the store, I’d love to hear what’s going on in your head. Is there a product that you wish you’d invented or sold?¬† Have you tried a Turbie Twist towel?