Sunday, July 31, 2011

how do you find a book when you can't remember the title? or the author?

There was a book I read in the early 1980's.  There seemed to have been a whole pile of interesting books in my hand in 1981 and 1982 -we must have come into someone's collection of books.
Anyway - it was along the lines of a "Cheaper by the Dozen" story (and I think that book WAS in the collection) but it was different.  It was a story about a family that was pieced together via adoption and maybe foster care?  Not sure.  I remember the story about the boy named Teddy and he wanted to know why he was a different color than everybody else:
God made the people and baked them like we bake cookies, but the first batch burnt, so then he tried again and they were too pasty, so then he tried again and they were a perfect brown.  Perhaps not exactly p.c. but perfect for a small child.  I had a boyfriend in college whose father was from India and at some point in early childhood his dad told him that same story!
and there was the fabulous line about adding children:
the mother heard one of her kids talking to another the child.  The other child had a new sibling.  Her kids said, "when are you going to the airport to get the baby?"  The other child said, "it isn't at the airport!  It is at the hospital!"  Her child said, "oh.  Well I'm sure your mother will love it anyway."
And something about the family had the opportunity to bring home another child but the bathroom was broken (?) and money was too tight to fix it and the social worker was coming...

This book clearly made an impression.  I was 9 or 10 when I read it.  But I don't know who wrote it!  Or what it is called.  I really wish I did!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pink Tights and a little Yoga

I shared this on Facebook last week, but thought it would be fun for Beverly's Pink Saturday Link-UP. On Facebook I commented "Korea is the land of morning calm, someone forgot to tell Bitsy"

There are always lots of interesting PINKS!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

End of summer bummer

Different Day - Different Child

Monday night - when Bitsy was redecorating with her cranium - the swim meet was canceled due to thunder storms and rescheduled for Tuesday.  Tuesday things were a bit off - I didn't have a sitter for M-Lyons, Tim had an accounting issue at work that needed sorting out, and my in-laws were at the swim meet.  But K looked after M with the help of the in-laws and Tim got home and ate his supper and made it over to watch the races and then nearly everbody was back home and...
K was on her bike, after 9 at night so it was dark, and she was riding home fast to get something and get back for the relays at the end of the meet.  The road slopes down to our home and the drive way slopes down as well and she was moving fast - and her father's truck was parked 1/2 way down the drive instead of up by the house and she barely saw it in the dark and stopped suddenly
and flew
up over handle bars
and down on her head
she broke her fall with her arms.
I was inside and heard her father ask "are you okay" and came running although I was expecting it to be girl drama as we've hit that stage.
Poor thing was sobbing, choking, and getting hysterical and then finally we got her inside and I realized she was HURT-
She had hit her face along the cheekbone & chin and taken all the skin off her shoulder and her hand hurt and had a nasty scrape down her leg...
so we iced an peroxided and sent her to bed with motrin.

Wednesday she was holding her right hand with her left, and not using the right at all, and making involuntary little sighs everytime she moved.  Luckily I had a sitter able to come over and so I didn't have to take the entire tribe to urgent care - and 1/2 way to urgent care I realized I wouldn't quite believe they'd covered all their bases and I wanted to be sure we didn't miss anything so I called the office of Dr. Alex Lambert.  He's an orthopedic; works with the athletes at William & Mary and has years in the Army before private practice - I used to take Tae Kwon Do with him.  His receptionist said they had a cancelation I could have.
I like Dr. Lambert.  He listens, he stays very calm & stoic but he is very good at what he does.  He has a wonderful demeanor with kids and answered all of K's questions with patience making sure she understood his answers.
As the photo shows - broken wrist.
She was scheduled to go to a dry land alpine ski camp - inline skating - in two weeks.  No go.  Hopefully they will refund me my money.  (not likely right?)

4 weeks minimum in the cast. total bummer...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Bitsy said, "I broke it"


Monday night - last swim meet.
Swimmers are at the pool.
Husband (has to help with timing the kids as they race) is at the pool.
I feed small ones, and go to fetch my shoes.
Bitsy walks in my room crying holding a piece of glass.
"Mommy - I broke it"
she is sobbing, chewing her fingers, distressed.
At first I think she dropped something, so I take the piece of glass and she leads me to the kitchen.
There are two bread bins in our kitchen with glass panes:

Holy Cow!
How did you do that?
She'd been banging her head against the cabinet, thinking it was funny.

Let me see your head!!!
The head is just fine.
Not a scratch, not a bump, the sobbing and finger chewing is in regards to how loud I'm going to yell.

Except all I can do is shake my head.  Really.  You put your head through the bread box?

Monday, July 25, 2011


added to Zenfolio Slide Show:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Soccer Celebs

Tiger plays soccer with the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club.
This week they are having soccer camp over at the rec center but run by VLSC.  Danny Karbassiyoon came to visit today.
Tiger's all excited.  Danny taught them a passing drill and then hung out for photos and autographs.

Why is Tiger all excited about this?  Danny Karbassiyoon grew up in Virginia and got to go play for the Arsenal.  Don't know who the Arsenal are?  That's okay.  The Arsenal are an English Premier League Team.  The seem to also be called the Gunners and this is their overview/ history:

In 1886, a group of workers at the Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory formed a team called Dial Square, renaming themselves to Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards. The team turned professional in 1891 and changed its name again to Woolwich Arsenal, eventually dropping the prefix completely in 1913 when they moved to Highbury.

This is kind of like when basketball scouts find someone in a country that isn't known for basketball and recruit them to play in the NBA.

He is very engaging and great with the young players and it is pretty cool that he makes the time to come to the VLSC camp.  It isn't often we get to meet real live soccer players around here!

Tiger got his camp shirt signed.  He also asked to have his cleats signed and his soccer ball signed.  I'm kinda like "ummm... you are going to wear that off in a week!" but at least his shirt should last, for a little while, and then if Tiger ever gets good enough to play pro he can pull it out :) 

I remember way back when I was in High School Chris Slade worked up at Ford's Colony's Golf Club.  There used to be a fund raiser or something and pro football players would come in and play golf.  Chris was in High School and just freaking out "do you know who that IS?" and he's point and name the player and go get his autograph and could quote all their stats.  Less than 10 years later I was in Wisconsin watching the Patriots play the Packers in the Super Bowl and as the announcer called their names the players ran to the field.  I fell off the couch, really, fell off the couch, when Chris Slade's name was called.  "NO WAY!"  I yelled.  "I know that guy!  He made it to the pros!  That is so cool."  (obviously I didn't follow pro ball and that was the first I'd known he was playing with the Patriots)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It doesn't come off

Bitsy is 4. She is a Korean adoptee and is a little darker than your average Korean.  Sometimes even Korean people second guess her ethnic heritage.

This week Bitsy is taking a dance camp at Virginia Regional Ballet.  One of the instructors is a black man who I'll call Nate for this story.

This morning I dropped Bitsy off for her third day of camp and after we changed her into ballet shoes she went and found Nate and demanded a hug.  Then he told me that yesterday she'd been rubbing his arm and he'd said "it doesn't come off."  Meaning, his skin color.  I cracked up.

I mean - she is one shade lighter.  And no we don't have any black people in the family and we go to a mostly white church but she crawls all over Miss Kim at work.  Miss Kim is a black woman.  So on my way home I had to stop by the office and I told Miss Kim the story.  And then I asked her - "has Bitsy ever asked about your skin color or hair or anything?"  Miss Kim laughed and said no.

So we decided that since Nate is a dancer, and both trim and very well built, maybe Bitsy was feeling up his arm muscles?  She does like men...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee & a book: No Biking in the House Without a Helmet

Not too long ago I posted a link from Rainbow Kids regarding this book.
I have since bought it - and found myself upstairs in the bedroom with one biological child and two Korean adoptees reading far into the night while they slept.  Eventually the youngest had fallen out of the double beds for the second time and I moved back downstairs into my bed with said little one - and fell asleep.
What kept me up was the chapters "Post Adoption Panic" and "Love at Second Sight."  I totally got it.
"I was thinking I'd wrecked my dearest treasure, my family." pg 71.
Oh and how I got it.  In the morning I brewed coffee found small people cheerios and strawberries and then sat on the couch and ignored everyone while I continued reading.  I loved this woman, Melissa Fay Greene, I wanted to find her and move my family to live on her street and be her new best friend.

The book is funny and charming and honest. Melissa Fay Greene looks at various situations with you, the biological clock, the adoption listings online, the referral videos, the doctors, the idea of a big family... and because she is a reporter she researches topics and has access to information and writes in a way that few others can.  She asks herself in the book if she has stopped being a mother and become a social worker.  She talks about adoption, about making choices, about saying yes and saying no and what that means to her.  She talks about having a family that has different colors, different ethnicities...

I am jealous of the babysitter that spoke her daughter Helen's first language and could make her foods that were comforting.  What a gift for a child who has been moved to a new life with new people in a new country!

I recommend this book for anyone who likes stories about families, or stories about adoption, or is wondering if adoption is a choice for them.  It is engaging and well written, it did make me laugh aloud and it made me cry too.  I really wish they lived on my street.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Smores & Sparklers

are s'mores a strictly American thing?  You know, like peanut butter?  (It was a shock when I was 9 and we moved to Europe and couldn't buy peanut butter.  A total shock.)
You take a marshmallow, roast it on a stick till its all soft and gooey, sandwich it between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate.  YUMMY!

We didn't get to celebrate the 4th of July all together this year but the husband had bought a stash of fireworks and sparklers last May while driving through the Carolinas.  So he started lighting up sparklers from the fire pit.

and then he moved to the front yard.  yep, thats my man. setting off small fire crackers, barefoot, in the street.

s'mores via wikipedia:
S'more appears to be a contraction of the phrase, "some more." While the origin of the dessert is unclear, the first recorded version of the recipe can be found in the publication "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts" of 1927.[3] The recipe is credited to Loretta Scott Crew, who reportedly made them by the campfire for the Scouts.[4] It is unknown whether the Girl Scouts were the first to make s'mores, but there appears to be no earlier claim to this snack. Although it is unknown when the name was shortened, recipes for "Some Mores" are in various Girl Scout publications until at least 1971.

oh! World Cup is on.  Gotta go-

In response to my response

One of my real life friends keeps a blog (with other women) that I love.
It is called Mormon Mommy Wars I've never asked her about the title (I know she's Mormon, I'm not, it isn't a topic we often discuss but it isn't off limits either.  I'm more curious about the "wars" part of the title. What war?)
And she recently wrote an interesting post in regards to the musical "The Book Of Mormon."
Entitled "When my pool buddies start asking me about it, I suppose it's time to blog about it" it is a good post.  And I'm not really going to go into it here, if you want to know what she said, click on over.
Anyway - I just left her a comment and now I am completely cracking up at myself.  Because I closed out my comment by saying "I don’t know, it (the musical) seems to be in poor taste and comedy often is, which makes me less worried about the Mormons and more worried about the culture of the country I live in." and then it hit me.  My last post was about humor, and in questionable taste (although making fun of no one but myself)

Ah yes.

There have been some interesting responses to "The Book of Mormon" by a variety of people.  Many of them are linked in the comments in Heather O's post.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


A week or so ago I took some pictures of the husband in his shop - and the skis for a post about prepping for a summer ski trip: here

Head makes skis.  They make pretty good skis.  In fact, Lindsey Vonn races on Head Skis, I believe she raced on a pair of men's skis in the Olympics.  I am not having luck finding documentation.  I thought the story was that a few women had tried them but only Lindsey was able to ski them - basically she had the leg strength to control them and nobody else could.

Ha! Found it: Lindsey Vonn used men's Head skis in the 2010 Winter Olympics, these skis allow greater speed but require increased strength to control. via Helium

Lindsey Vonn.  I borrowed that photo from the Head website.

Well my husband was in Mt. Hood last week at ski race camp with some of my kids.  He and I had had a less than perfect good bye and at some point I'd said "you need to say you are sorry and a Mt Hood TShirt isn't going to do it."

Well he did say he was sorry.
And then he gave me this:

He was laughing so hard in anticipation of my reaction he had tears in his eyes.  OMG!
Obviously I cannot wear this in public.  So its a sleep shirt.  Which makes it doubly funny.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Days. It is a madhouse!

Today there are 6 boys in my house, plus my 3 girls.  We invited one over after swim practice and then it sort of grew...
3 are brothers and while everybody gets along independently, when they are all together Tiger tends to get a little too hot at times.  So I've laid down the law that the oldest guest and Tiger are to play separate from Dragon and the kid his age and so far it is working
but there was just a huge hullabaloo as Dragon and buddy found a skink - in the toilet.
There have been skinks in our house in the past - I blame it on the absolute inability of anybody under the age of 12 to fully shut a door- but this is the first one to have been knocked for a swim.  Poor fella.  And as I was coming up the steps there was another round of yelling.  Apparently Dragon flushed it.  K is furious with Dragon "now its dead and our toilet is stopped up!"
Ever the drama queen.
Personally I would have preferred the opportunity to catch and release it - they eat bugs and they are pretty.  Two reasons to keep em around in my book.
Dragon is looking around trying to gage reaction.  He wasn't expecting it to end up with everybody mad at him.  "I suppose you thought you were funny?"  I ask.  "No!" he says a bit too defensively.  Yep - Dragon the comedian.
Dragon's buddy wants to fish it out of the toilet -
umm. no. leave the toilet alone boys.

Earlier today we watched the USA Women's Soccer Team take on the French Team in the World Cup games.  Semi Finals?  I'm not sure exactly - I only just realized the games were on after the women beat Brazil and everybody was talking about it - I'm so clueless.  I haven't watched professional soccer in quite some time so I actually said out loud "wow, they have female refs!" and my daughter just looked at me.  How to explain?  When I was a little kid girls were only starting to play soccer - there was a girl on my brother's team when he was 6 or 7 and some of the other teams wouldn't play against them because of her.  It was a really big deal.  I didn't play until I was 10 and then they were coed teams because there weren't enough girls to field a girls only team.  When I was in High School we had a girls baseball team and a girls softball team but only a boys soccer team.  14 years later when my cousins were in high school there were girl teams... but to me it feels so new.  And then Brandi Chastain  was an announcer today for the game and I was like "what?!? I remember when she was playing in the world cup!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

what is in a name?

What is in a name?
I can't exactly say
And yet, naming is highly important to me

It is time to change my blog name.
It began as a way to communicate family adventures to extended family members.
That isn't what it is anymore.

So what is it?
I have contemplated trying to focus on one interest - books, art, travel, whatever
doesn't work
I'm scatter brained and so is my blog.

So I'm still working on it.
My blog name.

Friday, July 8, 2011

For Pink Saturday - post card collage #4

there is a cattle ranch in California, near the Kern River and not too far from Bakersfield.  I was out there some years ago and there is a flag pole and when I was there, there was a cow skull on  the pole.

I'd love to own that ranch someday.  Of course, I'd have to be able to find it again and there is always that pesky matter of funds...

13 yr old - finding her style

I wrote about being 13, and insecure, and finding your style; music, books, clothes, accessories, friends...
(trying to be mom my teenage daughter) well
she has actually embraced the challenge and it is so much fun. I keep taking pictures of her-

dELiA's we found lots of clothes there.  For instance, that skirt was found at deLiA's as was the cardigan.
That skirt has been an awesome buy.  She wears it often.
I talked her into the striped cardigan - I still think its wicked cute
those are my shoes. MINE! She loves them.  She borrows them often.

scarf her Aunt brought back from Israel, I love the floral tank, so sweet and romantic; and the total steal we found at Aeropostale - those pants were $10!

Sweater, more dELiA's.  Apparently the sort of square big sweater was the "thing" at school last spring.  We'll have to see if it holds through to fall.  The skirt is really a dress - the top part of the dress is a white cami, perfect for layering.  I swear the skirt wasn't that short when we bought it 8 weeks ago - she's grown!

as for me - I'm facing off a psoriasis flare up on the face and scalp so its a bit slower - I did decided to take a getting fit challenge though :)
Oh, and I'm trying to dress like I notice what I look like!

today I ran in the rain

There was a wonderful quote that B. used to have on his bulletin board - probably from runners magazine which I think he used to get - something along the lines of ~I thought people who ran in the rain were crazy and then it rained and I ran in the rain but said I'd never run in snow and then it snowed and I ran in the snow~
I did not run in the rain today because I'm addicted to running.  I ran in the rain because I've been home with little kids for a week and today at 6 AM I had a babysitter.
I had a sitter because M recently challenged me to run in a 5Kwith her in August.  5K? I said, I ought to be able to do that.  (I haven't run in months)

So I ran.  In a downpour and there was thunder.  At about the first mile I saw someone walking with an umbrella.  1/2 mile later I was passed by someone on a bicycle.  I am not the only idiot in my neighborhood.

Sometimes I worry that my life may be a little too much "birth control" for my sweet babysitter.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

getting fit

yes - I know. I say I am going to get fit and I work at it for a short while and then it falls by the way side.
So I'm starting yet again-
with "Burst into Summer"
and it totally kicked my butt.
Burst Into Summer Challenge

fashion sense

blue fish sundress, sparkly red shoes ( a size too small ) and headband
and we ran into the store and she got ahead of me and I realized, we need to retire that dress.  I could see her panties!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunflowers, acrylic

I treated myself to a box of acrylics, and paper, and brushes recently - all from Cheap Joe's
all the kids were in bed and asleep by 8:30/9 so I got out the UPS box and decided to play

sketching it in with burnt sienna and ultra marine blue a la Bonnie Miller (Bonnie was my painting teacher)

seduced by the red oxide - the colors always take over when I'm painting.  But it is now two hours later and I need sleep-
so stopping here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

postcard collage #3
Medusa in the garden
in some legends she was a beautiful girl, turned ugly.  Some say she was turned ugly for claiming to be more beautiful than Athena, others say she was pursued by the sea god into Athena's temple and there Athena punished her... (for what? being so beautiful as to attract the eye of the sea god)
But once made into a monster - some legends say that her face was still beautiful while others depict her face as square with a monstrous mouth and large teeth.

Sometimes I think that there is a bit of monster in all of us, and a bit of beauty in every monster and sometimes I think we confuse the two.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Well - we put in just a few finishing touches outside:

and after a visit to my husband's grandmother we put in some finishing touches inside:

in the morning my mother will be coming over for a birthday breakfast.  My dad was born on the fourth of July, he died in 1986 but this year he would have been 60.  The fourth of July is filled with wonderful memories for me of childhood; parades in River Edge NJ where dad was from.  The volunteer fire fighters were always there, and my grandmother would walk with the volunteer emergency squad, and the Shriners always had these ridiculous cars and funny hats and they were my favorite part of the show!  Other years we were on Cape Cad visiting my mother's family and they always had a parade too.  And sometimes we were on military bases overseas and there was always some kind of goings on.  One year I remember sitting on top of an airplane hanger with my dad and other pilots, watching a team practice for an air show - or was it the air show? I just remember the roof of the hanger, and my dad and the other pilots and their families.

Tomorrow we will have waffles and ice cream for breakfast.  It is an Eitelbach tradition to have waffles on your birthday - and then we will go watch our neighborhood parade.  It is a little, old fashioned parade and the kids love it.  M-Lyons is on the swim team and they have a float.  You have to have an adult with you.  Since Tim is out of town and I have Bitsy to keep an eye on, my mother's friend Mike offered to step in and help.  So Mike and M-Lyons will ride the float together tomorrow.  And then off to an area called the pavilion where they have field games and so on... and eventually back to the house for hamburgers & corn on the cob.  and cherry pie.  My dad loved cherry pie.  I bake one every year on his birthday.  I think I'm the only person in the family that likes them - but I don't care.

ready to go into the oven... I found a recipe some years ago on the inside of the Oregon Red Tart Cherries can.  It is my favorite so far.

That is my dad - Ross E Mulhare.  Sorry for the glare, I couldn't scan it so I took a photo of the photo...
more about my dad here

A Safe and Happy Fourth of July to you all.
And thank you, to those who have worn the uniform that bought our freedom and has kept our freedom. And thank you to all those who have paid with their lives.  And thank you to the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters and sons who were left behind.  Freedom is precious, but it isn't free.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Short end of the stick?

Last night and this morning I've been a busy bee outside - Bitsy has been "helping" too!

lantana - native to India I believe
said to keep "the elephants out"
I wish they'd keep the deer out!

at Christmas I had an evergreen in a planter on either side of the front door
a smart gardener would toss 'em. 
But it has new growth, it wants to live.

I need to tie up the gladiolas

due to an uncommonly busy April & May & even June! I am just now getting around to planting into my pots and filling in the landscaping gaps... we planted lantanas that are perennials in this area (I didn't know that!) and some bright yellow marigolds, and those flaming red things... and some cucumbers that Home Depot had already started as well as yellow squash - we'll see how they all do since they've gone in so late.

and where is everybody else?  Tim has K, Tiger and Dragon with him... at Mt Hood.
no lie, I just pulled that photo off his facebook that he posted less than an hour ago.  I'm having a hard time not feeling like I got the short end of the stick here.  We dated lieterally because I like to ski, because I knew the difference between a ski turn and a racing turn, and I'm stuck in Virginia.  bummer...

He also posted the following:

20 hours ago via iPhone ·  ·  · 

    • Timothy Yates Mount Hood is a candy store for alpine racers.
      20 hours ago · 

    • Cailin Yates last time you left me behind with small people so you could ski with big people, I bought a puppy... lets make a deal. no new ski gear - no puppy (or cat. I did see free kittens today)
      16 hours ago · 

Last time left me behind was 6 years ago, when M -Lyons was born.  He took K and Tiger to Colorado for week and left me with 3 month old M-Lyons and 3 year old Dragon.  We really did go get a puppy - that big ole black lab who shows up in my photos from time to time...

I'm just baiting him with the threats to get a cat - but he won't rise to the occasion.  He is just ignoring me, which is way worse!  I may have to go get the kitten just because I'm being ignored!!!

sigh - I'm acting like a 4 year old.  I know.  Leave me with one long enough and I regress...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Recycle - reuse - bottle tops

Debbie issued a challenge:
A Magazine Copy Cat Challenge
what fun!

There was an article that caught my eye some time ago in Ranger Rick about an artist (Michelle Stitzlein) who uses old bottle tops and at the end there was a piece on making "flowers" with them...

I decided to combine that idea with an outdoor patio idea I'd seen more recently.  The first bit being adding color to planters...

See those colors thrown in there in the shape of flowers?

My husband just happens to have scrap wood in his shop, a perfect digging place for me to find "stems" for my flowers

He also had an all purpose spray adhesive in the shop so the four year old and the six year old helped me arrange bottle tops...

this morning I checked on them.  They seem to have stuck!  I painted my stems a lovely "golden yellow" that is in my house - so I'm going to link this up to Debbie's challenge now and take the final photo in an hour or two...

Oh dear, only one made it outside.  I need a different sort of glue!  But I do like that bright spot of color sticking out of the greens in the pot - so I am going to have to figure out what kind of glue will work, and make some more!