Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear REI


This is a little note to say thank you for being so awesome and for standing by your lifetime warranty. I went into your new Tustin store wearing my ten year old REI shell and carrying the down jacket that zips into it. Both were dripping wet since it's been pouring rain here for the last 152 hours. I took off the shell to reveal what looks like a horrible case of dandruff dusting on my shoulders. It is in fact from the jacket which, after traveling with me through countless countries and snowy peaks, has begun to disintegrate from the inside. That is why I brought this old friend in to your store, to see if I might exchange it for a newer model. A lovely cashier looked up my membership, which I have have had for going on 15 years, and discovered that the jacket transaction was on record, purchased in Manhattan Beach in 2000 for $200 cash. I remembered the price too because it was a lot of money when I was 22. I mean 27. The cashier asked if I'd like store credit or cash.

I walked to my car in the pouring rain in my t-shirt with $220 cash in my wallet. Now THAT is a lifetime warranty. Because that jacket and I had been through a lifetime of adventure together, packed into ten fun years. A part of me is sad to see her go. But an even bigger part of me is RICH and eying a sassy red Patagonia number, size medium.

You just earned my lifetime guarantee too.

warmly (once I get my new jacket),
Susie L.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tustin Lanes

Tustin Lanes

We're here for a visit with Grandma doing the regular stuff. Except it has not stopped raining since I started driving down Interstate 5 on Sunday. So we're doing the regular inside stuff. Which is very limited when your kids don't want to go to the movie theater because they suck. That leaves shopping, an activity that I try to avoid at all cost if I have my children with me, and bowling.

On Tuesday we bowled and it was epic. My daughter developed her own technique - carrying the ball to the lane, setting it down and rolling it as hard as she could. My son would run and then throw the ball with both hands. My parents used to be in a league in the 80s and I used to roam around the bowling alley when I could escape the daycare area, which I almost always could. We'd eat nachos and hot dogs and play video games while grown men and women in silky polyester team shirts flirted, cursed, smoked and bowled their hearts out.  The eighties were so awesome.

We'd go there as teenagers too. And sometimes on college break. So Tustin Lanes holds many vague but happy memories for me. And now maybe it does for them too. My son was especially enamored by the shoes. How many times I contemplated stealing a pair of bowling shoes in high school. I even came a few times with flip flops so I wouldn't miss the shoes left behind. Alas, no hope for this goody two shoes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear friends and family

It's been an incredible year and I feel so grateful to be alive and writing this letter to you. We have many things to be thankful for, most notably our incredibly gifted and talented children. Kevin turned six in October and continues to wear the same shirt every day to school. His consistency and commitment to (his) fashion is inspiring to many other kindergartners. Janna will turn four this coming February and continues to excel in ear surgery. She had her third set of tubes put in this December and her adenoids, those mysterious non-essentials, removed. Janna is only the latest in a long line of luminaries with exceptionally distinctive cranial plumbing in our family. We couldn't be more proud of the way she is carrying on this tradition.

Robert continues to work on the next generation of hearing aids. When asked if his design will revolutionize the industry his response was, "What?" Janice's business Mishmish Studio is taking over the watercolor folk modern Judaica category enjoying double digit awareness. The two hours a day she has to work on the business is generally just enough time to turn on her computer, log into her social networking platforms and let everyone know she's off to pick up the kids. Again. In other exciting news Janice and Robert are expecting their third child mid 2011. This development has led to a major career opportunity for Janice who has now been featured in several "before category" advertising spots namely Proactive, Bay Area Body Wraps and Lunesta.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic new year.

The Jeffersons
Robert, Janice, Kevin and Janna

ps. This was indeed our family pic from 2009 and was used by my former employer to showcase the "Pop Art Ornament Christmas Card". Note the interesting name choices. I guess we movin' on up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cup runneth over

Well yesterday was a banner day. It didn't start out great when a black squirrel jumped over my arm as I was opening our front gate and scared the bejeezies out of me. Holy vampire rodent! But then lady luck sent me a few emails that I had won not one, but TWO blog giveaways. And I'm even more excited to tell you about where they came from.

The first was all serendipity. My friend Liv, who I met at our October blogger/artist retreat, was hosting her weekly Happy HeArt giveaway - two prints by our other dear friend Lori, also present at the retreat. I often enter, when I remember, because the giveaways are always great. And last week's was no different. First a word on these two friends. These women and their art/presence in the world are completely inspiring to me. They each have powerful stories to tell. And their blogs are bursting with love and gratitude and beauty. But what you may not know is that they are hilariously funny too. When a one-liner is delivered with a sweet Minnesotan accent it's all the more delicious. Anyway, I'm taking the kids to visit my mom in my hometown for our winter break and will see my two oldest friends from elementary school so these will make the perfect gifts and then I'll have to order another for myself!

And THEN, as if a rainbow wasn't already shining out of my tushy, I got another email from one of my new favorite bloggers, Tulpen, congratulating me on my second win, a pair of gorgeous earrings from her sister's ETSY shop called Silver and Stones. I mean what are the chances? Happy Hanukkah to me! Listen, if you are in the mood for a crazy rant or a story about one of the charming old ladies at the nursing home where Tulpen nurses or a powerful reminder that, really, the kids are alright, go visit her immediately. She drops the f*bomb a lot. As much as I would if my mom wasn't one of my readers. And then go to Silver and Stones and get bejeweled in something twinkly.

I am off to play the lottery and ride out this winning streak.

**REMINDER** The 30% off sale at my shop continues through Friday December 10. Use code CHARM3 at checkout.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Third time's the charm


While I could very well blame this extended belly on the number of fried donuts and potato latkes I have consumed over the last five days - indeed there was never a more enthusiastic Hanukkah celebrant - in fact I am pregnant and the baby is due at the end of May. (The belly is not actually as large as it would appear in this dramatized photo, but still - third pregnancy starts showing at about four weeks and a day. Delightful.).

And my many feelings on the subject range from relief and joy to anxiety and terror. So that's been fun. Very relaxing. It may also explain why I haven't been able to do much of anything besides eat chicken apple sausage. But the nausea seems to have ended and I'm not quite as exhausted (as in I'm not falling asleep in the middle of a titillating game of Zingo, although admittedly this has also happened while not pregnant).

I also bought an iphone.

Which reminds me of the scene from Fiddler on the Roof when someone runs in and says "she's here! she's here!" and we're meant to believe that Tseidel had her baby and then it cuts to the scene where Motel the tailor is using a peddle sewing machine and Tseidel has already had the baby which is not nearly as exciting news as the arrival of the new foot-powered sewing machine.

To celebrate this news with you (the baby, not the iphone) I am hosting a sale in the shop through this Friday, December 10th. Since every third child knows the third time's the charm, use the code CHARM3 and get 30% off your order. All orders will go out by December 17 and then the shop closes down for some holiday travel and merry making.

Happy shopping! xo

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Everything is Illuminated


Last night we celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with friends. We stuffed ourselves with latkes and the kids lit candles and we sang songs and spun dreidles. By some stroke of luck we managed to get ourselves invited out for nearly every night of Hanukkah which means I'll be making the salad for the next eight nights. Tonight we're off to my son's old preschool teacher's house for an evening of Hanukkah songs, more candles and more latkes.

Inspired by all of this glowy goodness I made an Etsy treasury last night filled with illuminated masterpieces. Feast your eyes! And happy Festival of Lights!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Talking shit


I have a secret. I encourage potty talk in our house. Poo and pee are funny and everyone knows it so, for instance, when my daughter slips on a stray sock in the hallway and bumps her head, we point our fingers at the sock and say in earnest you're a poo poo sock! And then we turn around and stick our butts out at the sock. And my daughter is no longer crying.

It's childish. I know. And largely inappropriate. And many things about excrement are not funny at all. But many things are hilarious. Now the dinner table is another story. The rule is that if we talk about potty stuff at the dinner table then we have to talk about chicken fingers and salad while on the toilet. That makes them laugh every time and the distraction causes them to forget what they were saying.

There are times when we take shit seriously. Like the other day we were hopping trains for the afternoon and ended up at Sunnyvale station when I was suddenly gripped by the runs. Thankfully and not a moment too soon I spied a public bathroom at the station. It had a keypad which worried me, but then we saw someone exit so we ran and caught the door. The kids came in with me and after warning them about what was coming, they huddled in the furthest corner.

Him: Do you have diarrhea?
Me: Yes, sweetie. It seems so. Did you ever have diarrhea?
Him: Yes. I don't like it. It's like the kaki flies out of your tushy at light speed.
Me: Exactly.
Her: You stink mommy.

But back to potty talk. I urge you to incorporate potty talk into your arsenal of distraction techniques. Kids are fighting? Go up and smell both of their butts and say, who made a poo poo? I guarantee they will stop fighting and fall over laughing. This is probably only worthwhile if both are out of diapers.

I'll understand if you don't want your kids to play at our house any more.