Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things Natalie Said, Alligator Edition

It is no coincidence that the date of my last post is about the time I discovered Pinterest, an online bulletin board where you can pin all the great things you see on the Internet. It is so much easier (and addictive!) to hang out over there, so come find me over there. It is just so pretty in Pinterest land!

And so I'll leave this blog with the latest installment of Things Natalie Said.

"The new horse pushed out a baby without marrying somebody!"

Mama: "There! I fixed two things. Am I great?"
Natalie: "Yeah. You're great. Like a granny."

"There's a girl in my class named Annalynda. Isn't that a nice name? Keep it mind because when you're a grandma and I'm a mom, you have to remind me to name my girl that."

Natalie: "Mama, I want to help you wash the floor."
Mama: "Look at all this food on the floor. I wonder who sat here."
Natalie: "I don't know. Look at all this mess over here. I wonder who walked there with some dirty socks?"

"Mom, I have a great idea! If we go to a kid thing like they don't have any family--like an orchard--and we can pick a kid!"

Mama: "You need to put this away so you can eat. You're not following directions."
Natalie: "Is this a school, Mama? Then I need to get out of here and go to my home."

"I wonder why you say grapes have seeds? I don't believe in that."

"Mom, I want Dove Body Wash."

"Sometimes I think you love me so super much, I want to tickle you and laugh."

"Sometime when Papa sells the house, I think the house will miss us and remember all the days when I been there."

Natalie: "Mom, did you wish for a boy?"
Mama: "No, I wished for a girl, and I was so happy when they told me you were a girl."
Natalie: "So all your dreams came true?"
Mama: "Yep."
Natalie: "So when you have a baby, magic is real?"
Mama: "Yep."

Mama: "Can you bring me paper and a pencil?"
Natalie: "You're treating me like an orphanage!"

Natalie: "Can you give me some oranges?"
Mama: "These are called tanger--mandarins."
Natalie: "Can I have some tangermandarins please?"

Mama: "Because that's the rule, buddy."
Natalie: "I'm not a friend of yours. I'm just a kid of yours you pushed out. But you can still keep me."

"Mom, do peacocks know they're beautiful?"

Natalie calling out from the bathroom: "You have nine things for your butt now!" (counting tampons)

"Mom, I like this! This is my favorite dessert!" (broccoli)

"What happens if you're blind and your guide dog didn't help you and you ate an apple and felt a worm in your mouth?"

Natalie's instructions before leaving me to go to Hawaii: "Sickness when you're alone: jump up, go in the bathroom, wash your eyes. Read these books: A Vat, Cat Sat, Nat at Bat. If you're lonely, just make a happy face, and make pictures, and make toys. First eat a little snack. Here's the food that you have to eat when you have a sick belly. Eat 2 oranges, 2 cookies, a white cookie, and a bowl of apple sauce."

Mama: "Now I have to wash your poopy pants again."
Natalie: "When I get old, I'm going to wash poopy pants every day, and I'm going to like it."
Mama: "Yeah, because I'll be old and you'll have to wash MY poopy pants."
Natalie: "Uh... maybe my husband will do that. Because my kid wants to play with me."

"I want to tell you a secret I been keeping for a long time. I eated my boogers. For real. For a long time. I thought you would take me to the doctor when I telled you that secret."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kid Jokes

Whenever I look for joke books, the content is a little over Monkey's head, but these great workbooks have some pretty cute kid jokes. This scholar series is my favorite of all the workbooks we have. They include some interesting concepts like circling the reason WHY something happened or circle things that are living. They're not only better than other workbooks, they're cheaper--and funnier!

What is the strongest animal?

The snail because it carries its house on its back!

How did the farmer fix his jeans?

With a cabbage patch! [although I don't think kids today know what mending holes is all about--just throw it away! We've got 75 other outfits!]

What is a fast duck?

A quick quacker!

What animal always goes to bed with its shoes on?

A horse!

What gives milk and says, "Oom, oom?"

A cow walking backwards!

Why do cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work!

How do pigs write?

With a pig pen!

What do you call a crate of ducks?

A box of quackers!

What keys won't open doors?


What kind of vegetable goes ding-dong?

A bell pepper!

Why did the farmer feed his cow money?

He wanted rich milk!

What has 2 arms, 2 wings, 3 heads, and 8 legs?

A person on a horse holding a chicken!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things Natalie Said, Kindergarten Edition

Natalie: "I wonder what it feels like to be a hand?"
Mama: "Why don't you ask your hand?"
Natalie: "I don't talk to my hand. It talks to me."

"I love you super better!"

"I know how girls have babies. Want to know? Girls have eggs that disappear. One egg not disappears. And it grows into a baby."

Mama: "Who did that?!" [scratching on pillow]
Natalie: "It was you!"
Mama: "Aw, you're too smart for me."
Natalie: "I'm too smart because there's only two people here. Me and you."

"I was freezing and I felt cold hair growing on me fast."

"Don't come in my room! I'm doing something dangerous!"

Mama: "Does this piece go there? Yes! We're unstoppable!"
Natalie: "We're unstupido!"

Mama: "Let's save that orange shirt for school so I don't have to iron it again."
Natalie: "Oh, OK. But if I do this and not wear this shirt, then you have to clean my room every day."

"Here's a paper. You make a list. I do the work. You give me money."

[several hours into the first day of Kindergarten]
"Mom, you're supposed to leave me here. And not come back. For the whole day."

"See, I have you here in my pocket so I won't get lonely. So you don't need to come to school today." [a little drawing]

"I can't be in love with you. I need a man. But mamas who love their daughters find them a prince."

"Give me five kisses. Mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah. Now I'm in love with you."

Natalie: "I want to go to the toy store."
Mama: "No, I want you to pick out vegetables with me at the farmer's market."
Natalie: "Mom, you pick out ANY vegetables you want, and I promise I'll eat it, and I'll wait for you at the toy store, OK? I promise, I promise, I promise."

"I said to the children, if they don't know my name, they can just call me Francesca."

"My reading buddy said I have the perfect hair for Snow White. So I need to color it black."

"I'm not going to pee, poop, or fart, because you're not saying it in a nice voice."

"Mama, I have to get a puppy and a kitty, because we need to learn from them. They show you how to run and jump and have a healthy breakfast. And we can learn humanity."

"Mom, I had a dream about picking colorful bugs' eggs like a honey bee, and they were sticking to my fingers and they were colorful and you were there."

"It feels like... being the bestest, when you're a little kid. And friendly."

Mama: "What a big mess! What were you doing in here?!"
Natalie: "Um... I was loving you?"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fridge Flowers

Stina Ballerina's fridge flowers are so pretty, just magnets stuck on clothespins stuck on the fridge. (via Norske interiørblogger)

Willa Cather

from My Antonia
by Willa Cather

Wick Cutter was the money-lender who had fleeced poor Russian Peter. When a farmer once got into the habit of going to Cutter, it was like gambling or the lottery; in an hour of discouragement he went back.

Cutter's first name was Wycliffe, and he liked to talk about his pious bringing-up. He contributed regularly to the Protestant churches, 'for sentiment's sake,' as he said with a flourish of the hand. He came from a town in Iowa where there were a great many Swedes, and could speak a little Swedish, which gave him a great advantage with the early Scandinavian settlers.

In every frontier settlement there are men who have come there to escape restraint. Cutter was one of the 'fast set' of Black Hawk business men. He was an inveterate gambler, though a poor loser. When we saw a light burning in his office late at night, we knew that a game of poker was going on. Cutter boasted that he never drank anything stronger than sherry, and he said he got his start in life by saving the money that other young men spent for cigars. He was full of moral maxims for boys. When he came to our house on business, he quoted `Poor Richard's Almanack' to me, and told me he was delighted to find a town boy who could milk a cow. He was particularly affable to grandmother, and whenever they met he would begin at once to talk about `the good old times' and simple living. I detested his pink, bald head, and his yellow whiskers, always soft and glistening. It was said he brushed them every night, as a woman does her hair. His white teeth looked factory-made. His skin was red and rough, as if from perpetual sunburn; he often went away to hot springs to take mud baths. He was notoriously dissolute with women. Two Swedish girls who had lived in his house were the worse for the experience. One of them he had taken to Omaha and established in the business for which he had fitted her. He still visited her.

Cutter lived in a state of perpetual warfare with his wife, and yet, apparently, they never thought of separating. They dwelt in a fussy, scroll-work house, painted white and buried in thick evergreens, with a fussy white fence and barn. Cutter thought he knew a great deal about horses, and usually had a colt which he was training for the track. On Sunday mornings one could see him out at the fair grounds, speeding around the race-course in his trotting-buggy, wearing yellow gloves and a black-and-white-check travelling cap, his whiskers blowing back in the breeze. If there were any boys about, Cutter would offer one of them a quarter to hold the stop-watch, and then drive off, saying he had no change and would `fix it up next time.' No one could cut his lawn or wash his buggy to suit him. He was so fastidious and prim about his place that a boy would go to a good deal of trouble to throw a dead cat into his back yard, or to dump a sackful of tin cans in his alley. It was a peculiar combination of old-maidishness and licentiousness that made Cutter seem so despicable.

He had certainly met his match when he married Mrs. Cutter. She was a terrifying-looking person; almost a giantess in height, raw-boned, with iron-grey hair, a face always flushed, and prominent, hysterical eyes. When she meant to be entertaining and agreeable, she nodded her head incessantly and snapped her eyes at one. Her teeth were long and curved, like a horse's; people said babies always cried if she smiled at them. Her face had a kind of fascination for me: it was the very colour and shape of anger. There was a gleam of something akin to insanity in her full, intense eyes. She was formal in manner, and made calls in rustling, steel-grey brocades and a tall bonnet with bristling aigrettes.

Mrs. Cutter painted china so assiduously that even her wash-bowls and pitchers, and her husband's shaving-mug, were covered with violets and lilies. Once, when Cutter was exhibiting some of his wife's china to a caller, he dropped a piece. Mrs. Cutter put her handkerchief to her lips as if she were going to faint and said grandly: `Mr. Cutter, you have broken all the Commandments--spare the finger-bowls!'

They quarrelled from the moment Cutter came into the house until they went to bed at night, and their hired girls reported these scenes to the town at large. Mrs. Cutter had several times cut paragraphs about unfaithful husbands out of the newspapers and mailed them to Cutter in a disguised handwriting. Cutter would come home at noon, find the mutilated journal in the paper-rack, and triumphantly fit the clipping into the space from which it had been cut. Those two could quarrel all morning about whether he ought to put on his heavy or his light underwear, and all evening about whether he had taken cold or not.

The Cutters had major as well as minor subjects for dispute. The chief of these was the question of inheritance: Mrs. Cutter told her husband it was plainly his fault they had no children. He insisted that Mrs. Cutter had purposely remained childless, with the determination to outlive him and to share his property with her `people,' whom he detested. To this she would reply that unless he changed his mode of life, she would certainly outlive him. After listening to her insinuations about his physical soundness, Cutter would resume his dumb-bell practice for a month, or rise daily at the hour when his wife most liked to sleep, dress noisily, and drive out to the track with his trotting-horse.

Once when they had quarrelled about household expenses, Mrs. Cutter put on her brocade and went among their friends soliciting orders for painted china, saying that Mr. Cutter had compelled her `to live by her brush.' Cutter wasn't shamed as she had expected; he was delighted!

Cutter often threatened to chop down the cedar trees which half-buried the house. His wife declared she would leave him if she were stripped of the I privacy' which she felt these trees afforded her. That was his opportunity, surely; but he never cut down the trees. The Cutters seemed to find their relations to each other interesting and stimulating, and certainly the rest of us found them so. Wick Cutter was different from any other rascal I have ever known, but I have found Mrs. Cutters all over the world; sometimes founding new religions, sometimes being forcibly fed--easily recognizable, even when superficially tamed.

Louise Glück

Purple Bathing Suit
by Louise Glück

I like watching you garden
with your back to me in your purple bathing suit:
your back is my favorite part of you,
the part furthest away from your mouth.

You might give some thought to that mouth.
Also to the way you weed, breaking
the grass off at ground level
when you should pull it by the roots.

How many times do I have to tell you
how the grass spreads, your little
pile notwithstanding, in a dark mass which
by smoothing over the surface you have finally
fully obscured. Watching you

stare into space in the tidy
rows of the vegetable garden, ostensibly
working hard while actually
doing the worst job possible, I think

you are a small irritating purple thing
and I would like to see you walk off the face of the earth
because you are all that's wrong with my life
and I need you and I claim you.

Franz Kafka

Unmasking a Confidence Trickster
by Franz Kafka

At last, about ten o'clock at night, I came to the doorway of the fine house where I was invited to spend the evening, after the man beside me, whom I was barely acquainted with and who had once again thrust himself unasked upon me, had marched me for two long hours around the streets.

'Well!' I said, and clapped my hands to show that I really had to bid him goodbye. I had already made several less explicit attempts to get rid of him. I was tired out. 'Are you going straight in?' he asked. I heard a sound in his mouth that was like the snapping of teeth. 'Yes.'

I had been invited out, I told him when I met him. But it was to enter a house where I longed to be that I had been invited, not to stand here at the street door looking past the ears of the man before me. Nor to fall silent with him, as if we were doomed to stay for a long time on this spot. And yet the houses around us at once took a share in our silence, and the darkness over them, all the way up to the stars. And the steps of invisible passers-by, which one could not take the trouble to elucidate, and the wind persistently buffeting the other side of the street, and a gramophone singing behind the closed windows of some room - they all announced themselves in this silence, as if it were their own possession for the time past and to come.

And my companion subscribed to it in his own name and - with a smile - in mine too, stretched his right arm up along the wall and leaned his cheek upon it, shutting his eyes.

But I did not wait to see the end of that smile, for shame suddenly caught hold of me. It had needed that smile to let me know that the man was a confidence trickster, nothing else. And yet I had been months in the town and thought I knew all about confidence tricksters, how they came slinking out of side streets by night to meet us with outstretched hands like tavernkeepers, how they haunted the advertisement pillars we stood beside, sliding around them as if playing hide-and-seek and spying on us with at least one eye, how they suddenly appeared on the curb of the pavement at cross-streets when we were hesitating! I understood them so well, they were the first acquaintances I had made in the town's small taverns, and to them I owed my first inkling of a ruthless hardness which I was now so conscious of, everywhere on earth, that I was even beginning to feel it in myself. How persistently they blocked our way, even when we had long shaken ourselves free, even when, that is, they had nothing more to hope for! How they refused to give up, to admit defeat, but kept shooting glances at us that even from a distance were still compelling! And the means they employed were always the same: they planted themselves before us, looking as large as possible, tried to hinder us from going where we purposed, offered us instead a habitation in their own bosoms, and when at last all our balked feelings rose in revolt they welcomed that like an embrace into which they threw themselves face foremost.

And it had taken me such a long time in this man's company to recognize the same old game. I rubbed my finger tips together to wipe away the disgrace.

My companion was still leaning there as before, still believing himself a successful trickster, and his self-complacency glowed pink on his free cheek.

'Caught in the act!' said I, tapping him lightly on the shoulder. Then I ran up the steps, and the disinterested devotion on the servants' faces in the hall delighted me like an unexpected treat. I looked at them all, one after another, while they took my greatcoat off and wiped my shoes clean.

With a deep breath of relief and straightening myself to my full height, I then entered the drawing room.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vintage Trailers

I love vintage trailers, especially Spartans. Vintage Vacations is a "site for trailerites who are devoted to the restoration and preservation of pre-1960 travel trailers." And the RV/MH Heritage Foundation has some sweet vintage trailers in their museum in Indiana.

Welsh National Costume

John Thomas, Two women in Welsh National costume drinking tea, 1875, The National Library of Wales (via a polar bear's tale). I love the mix of patterns. I should try that.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Holy Guacamole

I just checked, and there are 949 things I've backlogged waiting to write about when I start up this blog again. Now that we've moved and Kindergarten has started, there is no time like the present. And I think because my little bunny isn't a baby anymore, I'd better just open this blog up to all the wonderful things in the entire world. Sometimes it is easy to forget, but just about everything in the entire world is, in fact, wonderful. Here's to Happiness!