Sunday, September 30, 2007

Message to Mimi

And a happy birthday to Emily, too!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flashback Friday

This week's FBF theme is supposed to be "You and Your Pet." I never had a pet when I was a kid. Well, there was Jimmy the Turtle, but he didn't last long. My parents kindly lied and told me they set him free in my Grandma's pond, but now I know the truth. I guess turtles can only survive so many accidental drops. Poor Jimmy. So, anyway, no pet pictures for me. But I did have a brand new pair of rollerskates, and for me, that was probably just as good.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mommy Lets Go...a Little

It is still hot in Texas, so I took the Peanut to the Galleria today to play on the great playground with her friends Violet and Fletcher. Now, let's face it. I am a little bit of a freak. I don't like dirt or germs or danger, so I do what I can to help Daphne avoid those things as well. This playground is great because it has no sand, rocks, dirt, or woodchips for Daphne to eat or wallow in. There ARE probably germs, but if you get there before the mall opens, all the toys are clean, and there aren't too many other kids spreading Who Know What all over the place. And it is a very safe playground, because the toys are made of some kind of soft material, and the floor is cushy and bouncy. So, I decided today was the day to let the Peanut climb on stuff without hovering over her. She had a BLAST. Since I usually never let her climb on stuff, she isn't very good at it, but it didn't take her too long to get the hang of it, and by the time we left, she figured out how to get down without falling. Look how proud she is of herself, standing on top of that gator's back! And in the video, when she falls, she just says Uh-Oh and gets up to do it again, happy as a clam. And I only said "Oh Dear!" once or twice the whole time. Kev would have been so proud of me...uh, I mean Daphne.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Lightning Story

So, I can't believe I haven't already blogged this, but I got struck by lightning once. I was about 16, and it was raining and I was in my front yard walking to my car to go to work at Woodbridge Private School, (oh, the stories I could tell you about THAT crazy place), and like a ding-dong, I was holding the metal part of the umbrella, and as Mr. Brown would say, "SPLATT!" went the lightning, and out of my hand the umbrella flew, and I felt a shock and my arm was numb for a few hours and that's about it. I must've not been directly hit, or that would have been the end of me. As it turns out, all it was the end of was my hair, which suddenly didn't seem to need perms anymore. Actually, I guess it could be all those pre-lightning perms that fried my hair, and not the lightning at all. But that's not quite as good of a story. Anyway, I figure since I've already been struck by lightning once, I'm immune to it happening again, so that's good.

Big Wednesday

First of all, Happy Birthday Mom...sorry you got food poisoning.

Second, if you happen to go into a cool fancy schmancy shop called KidBiz in Preston Center, you just might see something like the card above hanging on a rack, because today Mockingbird and Vine received its first real order for some of our hairclips . WooHoo! I am an entreprenuer (but I'm not sure I can spell it). Thanks to my friend Emily for all her help, without which it probably never would have happened because I am usually all talk and no action. And thanks to both Kevins and my mom and dad and LFeathers for encouraging us. Yay!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Colonel and Me

Every year in New Albany, Indiana (where I was born), there is a fall festival called the Harvest Homecoming, and part of the big production is a parade. This year I'll be going for the first time since I was about nine. One time when I went, I got to meet Colonel Sanders, who was one of the special guest stars of the parade. In the photo below, you can see me immediately after I shook hands with Mister Chicken himself. The picture is very low quality, because it is actually a picture of our TV pausing a video-tape of a super-8 movie of the time I met the Colonel. I would like to point out my awesome pony-tails...I would give anything if my hair was still long and smooth like that. Dang that bolt of lightning!

I included the KFC logo above because it reminds me of my friend Bryce, who used to think the bow-tie was supposed to be the Colonel's tiny body.

I know it isn't Flashback Friday or anything, but I was watching the video the other day, and I had just been telling Fooie about this brush with fame. Foo, I bet you weren't even born.

(Please don't eat at KFC...I think they are mean to the chickens). (They have good biscuits, though).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Too Hot for Housepants

Too Hot for Housepants...
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Here's the Peanut in her very first housepants, made during my pants-making frenzy last night. It's really still too hot to wear them, but that never stopped me. I'm wearing mine, too.

Groovy Guitars Dress

Groovy Guitars Dress
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Guitar dress done! Off to the LYS! I'll post a picture when I try it on the Peanut.

Another Happy Monday

And today's Happy Monday is happening in real time. This morning, I have the house to myself. Daphne spent the night in Big G, so I slept until 7:00 this morning! Then I took a walk to my favorite little neighborhood coffee shop and read the paper and had this delicious breakfast (I promise you, I did NOT eat all of that food. In fact, I didn't even touch the bacon). It is actually cool enough in the mornings to go outside as long as you're back indoors by about 10:00. Now, I am going to make Daphne a dress, and later I am going to my favorite Local Yarn Shop to see my friend Emily and get started on some knitting projects I've been saving until summer is over. I miss my family, but I am enjoying a little time to myself. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Peanut in Boots

Dress-up Day

Dress-up Day
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Daphne thought it would be fun to put on my boots. She was right.

Parade of Pants

Parade of Pants
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Kev is out of town, and Daphne's at G'ma and G'pa's house, so I finally got some time to sew. I made three pairs of pants for the Peanut. Those are her very first housepants there in the middle. The flowered ones are corduroy, and the dragonfly pants are from fabric Kev got me for my birthday. Tomorrow...a guitar dress!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flashback Friday

Here I am, age two years, 8 months, according to the writing on the back of this picture. I am playing outside on my beloved swingset, for some reason still in my pajamas, and with my pink sponge-rollers in my hair. Oh, how I hated those rollers. I used to have to SLEEP in them. I was forever being jabbed in the head by the plastic clippy parts.

As you can see by the picture below, we were a hair roller wearing family. That's my mom (sitting) and my grandma. My mom looks like she has a giant pink cupcake on her head.

These pictures remind me of this story, another little flashback. I wish I could find the pictures from that day.

Orange Owl

Orange Owl
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Well, I got nothin'. No Top Five, no poll, no remotely interersting stories. I did some embroidery on this dress yesterday. My aunt bought the dress for Daphne, and it seemed to be crying out for an orange owl.

That's about all I can come up with to blog. Oh, and one small word of advice: Don't take your toddler with you to the oil change place. It's no fun.

Sorry I forgot about Talk Like a Pirate Day yesterday. AAARRRR.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Waking Up - August 2006

Waking Up - August 2006
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
I know most of you have already seen some of these pics, but I had to use the flickr toy mosaic maker to put them all together. It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, the Great State Fair of Texas starts in 10 days, so I'm sure everybody's wondering what they're gonna fry this year. Here's the list, from

New Food Items Honored with Big Tex Choice Awards

Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough – Fresh cookie dough, made from scratch with pecans, chocolate chips and coconut, lightly battered and deep fried. Dough comes out the fryer warm and gooey, just like oven baked! Topped with chocolate syrup or whipped cream. Location: Nimitz Drive near the Embarcadero.

Most Creative Deep Fried Latte – A delicately fried, light puff pastry, with a hint of coffee, is topped with cappuccino ice cream, sweet syrup, whipped cream and instant coffee sprinkles. Location: Nimitz Drive.

Honorable Mention Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito – A flour tortilla, dipped in chicken broth for extra flavor, is loaded up with a heaping spoonful of spicy Texas chili & smashed Chili Cheese Fritos and deep fried until golden. Served hot & spicy with a choice of toppings. Location: Dock Restaurant inside the Embarcadero Building.

B.W.'s Original Fried Banana Pudding -- Chilled, specially-made banana pudding is ladled into a grilled tortilla and fried to a crisp golden brown. It's dusted with powdered sugar while warm, then surrounded by a cloud of whipped topping. Location: Tower Building.

Zesty Fried Guacamole Bites – Creamy avocado mixed with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and salsa is dipped in a zesty batter and fried to perfection. Served with ranch dressings or salsa. Location: Midway in the Thrill Zone.

Country Fried Peach Cobbler-on-a-Stick -- Made-from-scratch peach cobbler is cooked thick with dumplings, rolled into a thin pastry dough and quick fried to a golden brown. It's topped off with brown sugar, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. Location: Tower Building .

Mama’s Fried Sweet Potato Pie – A generous portion of third-generation-recipe sweet potato pie filling is spread on a soft flour tortilla and lightly fried to a crisp. Served plain or with a light sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar. Location: Cotton Bowl Plaza & Midway

I wonder if they'll ever try Fried Beer.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Train Station Ice Cream

Train Station Ice Cream
Originally uploaded by Tara H.
I never thought it was possible,, but I think there is someone in this family who likes ice cream even more than I do.

Happiest Happy Monday Ever

I have been in a lot of happy places, and will likely be in many more, but this was the happiest place of all, and it was actually on a Monday. Look at that little baby! Where did she go? It seems like she has turned into a big kid overnight. Now she walks and talks and plays with real toys and isn't a baby at all. But she still makes me happy every day. Happy Monday little Peanut.

Friday, September 14, 2007

About the Post Below

There is a cool thing called ANIMOTO where you can turn your photos into a more interesting slideshow than you can on flickr or whatever. Thirty second videos are free, and you have to pay for longer ones, but I got a free one from being on the mailing list for the great PHOTOJOJO. So, I turned our vacation pictures into a slideshow featuring music by Kev. Feel free to watch it if you want. I warn you, it's long. But it's pretty groovy, so you may want to check out a few seconds of it to get the idea of what ANIMOTO can do with your pictures.

Animoto is Fun


Today I was driving past the woods by the lake, and I saw a coyote! It was so cool! (And, yes, I DO know what a coyote is).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Flashback Friday

Back to School - Early 1970s. I'm guessing there is a Peanut Butter sandwich with the crust cut off, and possibly a Hostess snack cake in that lunch bag.

Mo' Pie

My friend Emily is an award-winning pie-maker. Last night, she made a practice pie for this year's upcoming State Fair, and we were lucky enough to get a sample slice. Mmm-mmm. As you can see in the video, Daphne likes pie (and also spaghetti, which is all over her face). After she finished her pie, she set her sights on mine. Emily, if Daphne is the judge this year, I think you're gonna win. (Wummy = Yummy).

The Wolverine Story

(as requested by K.)

Ok, here is a story that I am going to tell you before Kev gets a chance to tell you. I am sure his version would make me look much dumber than my version. So here goes:

The other night, we were discussing badgers. I do not know why. Anyway, I told Kev that I didn't think I'd recognize a badger if I saw one, and he said they looked sort of like wolverines. That's weird, I thought, and I told Kev I thought wolverines were like mini wolves.

Now. Let's stop right there a second. You see, "mini" was a poor choice of words on my part. When I said mini-wolves, Kev erupted in Laughter At My Expense (LAME). He began to talk between chuckles about "wolves in 1/3 scale" and so forth. What I meant when I said that though, was that I thought wolverines were members of the wolf family, but slightly smaller. I did NOT mean tiny mouse-sized wolves.

Let me tell you how I very logically arrived at the idea that wolverines were mini - scratch that - small wolves. I have never experienced a wolverine in real life, nor at a zoo, nor in any children's literature nor animated film. At no time, did anyone sit me down and say, "Tara, THIS is a woverine." So I had very little to base my assumption on besides the wolverine's name alone.

Hmmm. Wolverine. Has the "wolve-" right at the beginning. OK. Next. Sounds kinda like the word "figurine." What is a figurine? A small figure. Next. There are sports teams called wolverines, so they are probably fierce creatures. Like wolves. And finally, the guy in the X-Men movie looks WAY more like a wolf-man than a badger.

It never occurred to me that a wolverine might NOT be part of the wolf family, so I never bothered to look it up.

I guarentee that if someone told Kev that there was an animal called a "pantherine," he would think it was a smaller kind of panther.

Kev was also quite shocked and amused to learn that I have gone my whole 39 years without knowing the difference between a shotgun and a rifle. Why on earth would I need to know a thing like that?

So, make fun of me if you will. I don't care. Live and learn, I say. At least I know that Chicken of the Sea is a tuna fish.

Spiced Chai Latte

Because Fall is coming.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Give-Up Poll for Wednesday

Best Beatle
Free polls from

Poll participation is on a steady decline. I will try to think of something more interesting next week.

How to be Cute while Giving Mommy a Headache

Daphne likes to play the instruments in our house. Right now, she especially seems to like the noisy ones like the drums and the trumpet. I am hoping she will eventually gravitate toward the nice quiet ukulele or mandolin, but only time will tell. Please enjoy this short drumming video. It only lasts about 20 seconds. But in real life, I got to listen to it for about ten minutes. I fear we will eventually have to build on a soundproof room.


Originally uploaded by Tara H.

Mommy's Little Rocker

We like the Kinks in our family.

Daphne had to go get a shot today. She was pretty good. I think it's always worse for me than it is for her.

Poll is coming eventually.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Top Five Tuesday

Here is a top five list for you.

Top Five Birds I have Seen in Real Life:

  1. Painted Bunting
  2. Bald Eagle
  3. Osprey
  4. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  5. (Common) Loon

Good Book

I just finished reading this book. You can find out more about it here. If you are looking for a really good book to read that won't take very long, this might just be the book for you. It only took me two days, even with having to watch Daphne. It is funny and sad and happy, and has time travel, which i thought would be hokey, but wasn't. If you read this, let me know what you think. Kev liked it too. (And if you're not careful, you just might learn something before you're through. Hey hey hey!)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Monday for Sept 10

This happy place is the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York. I am not in the picture because I took the picture. I am pretty sure this was taken the first time I went to NY with Kev to visit his family. It was November, and we missed the peak of the fall colors, but it was still pretty. We took Kev's dogs to the Vanderbilt for a walk, and as you can see, they had a great time running around and rolling in the leaves. That's nothing, though. You should see them in the snow!

It is supposed to cool down here quite a bit this week. All things considered, this summer wasn't too bad, but I am still ready for fall. To celebrate, we are having chicken soup with dumplings this week. And I'm considering an apple pie.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yoga for Babies

Originally uploaded by Tara H.
Daphne has been working on her Downward Facing Dog pose. I wish I could do that!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Flashback Friday : Sick

Today, Daphne and I are both sick. I look pretty much like the picture above, only bigger and holding a sock monkey instead of a Teddy bear. Below is Daphne resting in her car. We don't feel good. Kevin is nice. He made us breakfast pie for dinner last night.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fun with Letters

Here's the Peanut in her new groovy poncho, which is actually a baby blanket knitted by our friend Cheryl. LOVE the goes so well with her hair.

Yesterday, I got Daphne some magnetic letters. If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you will see on the fridge behind her that Kev had fun spelling some of her favorite words.

(meatmo = meatball)

And More Fun with Letters

Waste more time here, where you can use people's flickr photos of letters to spell stuff like:

L R h S_McElman_070716_2513


B O L O Gee N A


P O dear O P

(Ok, the "bologna" thing looked funnier when it was all on one line)
(That last one's for Fooie)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Genius of Flickr

Stick Figures in Peril. A hilarious flickr group. Check it out for good timewasting fun.

One Last Thing about Snack Cakes

"Drake's was finally sold in 1998 to Interstate Bakeries Corporation, which by then had bought ITT/CBC, thus taking ownership of Hostess and Wonder. This time, the resultant monopoly was not overturned, and as other companies such as Little Debbie had expanded a great deal, it was not as much of a monopoly as it would have been before. Now, in the New York City area, Drake's and Hostess operations have combined, sharing the same trucks, delivery routes, and store racks. Some Hostess cakes such as Twinkies and Ding Dongs (whose name is permanently restored) in the northeast are now even produced at the Drake bakery and bear a kosher certification symbol in those areas."

From wikipedia, thanks to Marty for the link. I think the DingDongs I bought in Texas were slightly different, based on differences in the nutrition labels on the backs of the boxes.

Time for Another Wednesday Poll

Which of these guys do you think is coolest?
G I Joe
Six Million Dollar Man
Han Solo
Captain Kirk
James Bond
Free polls from

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I just finished doing something I've been waiting to do for a long time. Daphne sat on my lap, and we watched her first ever episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. She is normally very squirmy, but she didn't move a muscle for the whole 30 minutes. Mister Rogers must just radiate some kind of calm. It made me so happy to be sitting there watching Mister Rogers with my baby that I almost cried. Thanks Mister Rogers. We miss you.

I know it's Wednesday, but I haven't thought of a poll yet. Later today or tomorrow for sure.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Guaranteed: No Snack Cake Talk in this Post

Top Five Tuesday's Top Five Favorite Old Blues Guys:
  1. Skip James
  2. Mississippi John Hurt
  3. John Lee Hooker
  4. Robert Johnson
  5. Muddy Waters

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Results are In!!! A Dramatic Finish!

The LRHS Labor Day Ring Ding Ding Dong Duel is now over, but not without some controversy. Before I give away the results, I will tell you that last night, we had to go to two different 7-11s and one grocery store before we finally found some Ding Dongs. It was quite a big production. It's all for you, the readers of this blog.

Here are some pictures of the event as it was happening. It took us a few minutes to get serious, but once we did, it was all business. Kev prepared the snack cakes while I blindfolded myself. Then, I took several alternating bites of each cake, judging them on a scale of 1 to 5 in the areas of chocolaty coating, cake, creamy filling, and overall taste. I have to say, there wasn't a whole helluva lot of difference, however one cake had a slightly tastier chocolaty coating, and more creamy filling, which was a definite plus in my book. So, when the scores were added up, Cake B edged out Cake A by a score of 16.5 to 14. I also guessed that Cake B was the Ding Dong. Now, here is where the controversy occurred. After the scores were calculated, we revealed the labels that Kev had placed under each plate. This indicated that Cake B was indeed the Ding Dong, and therefore Ding Dong was the winner. BUT, Kev then claimed to have mislabeled the plates! Now, I have known Kev for a long time, and I don't think he would try to cheat just to have RingDings declared the winner. The only way to tell for sure was to cut open another of each snack cake to reveal which one indeed had more cream filling. After much investigation, I think Kev is telling the truth, and RingDings DID actually win.

So, all drama aside, I hearby declare Ring Dings the official winner of the LRHS Labor Day Ring Ding Ding Dong Duel, and I am just happy that I never have to type that again. Congratualtions to the good people of Drake's for having the superior snack cake with the better creamy filling to cake ratio. And thanks to Kev for participating in my silliness.

Happy Monday

This was taken at Kerrville State Park in 2003. You can see how happy I am having a camp-out breakfast of french toast, sausage, OJ, and coffee. Food always tastes better when it's cooked and eaten outside for some reason. Also, you can tell by the jacket that it was a delightfully cool morning in the Texas Hill Country. I am ready to go camping soon.
This morning, Kev is cooking up some cornmeal mush for our Labor Day breakfast. Mmmm.
Then it will be time to prepare the snack cakes.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

September at Last.

Spent the afternoon yesterday out in the country having chicken tacos with good friends. It was actually nice enough to play outside.

Yesterday's breakfast: Cheerios with subbysubs, coffee in my duck mug, and a Drake's Coffee Cake. How can you beat that?

Coming tomorrow: The Great LRHS Labor Day Ring Ding Ding Dong Duel.

Shout Out to the New York Crew

Press PLAY, and crank up your volume....Happy Labor Day from the Peanut...she had a great time on vacation!