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The times, they are a-changin’. June 13, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, kidlet, photography.
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Last week the traveling carnival was in town, the kind assembled by drunk guys with screwdrivers and then crammed into a tiny parking lot. I’m always fascinated by them, the portability of such a huge and elaborate setup, the way they’re able to shoehorn everything into small and/or awkwardly-shaped spaces. There was a whole village of RVs parked out behind the carnival where we would see the carnies sitting out on their steps in the evenings before the show opened, entire families of them. I wonder what those children think of their nomadic existence?

I don’t trust the big rides, never go on em. The kids’ rides are kind of a joke, too, with safety restraints like pieces of rope loosely cinched around them. We put Michael and Katy on the motorcycle ride which just went round and round for three minutes – kidlet wasn’t too pleased to have some other strange kid seated right behind him. The strange kid looked perplexed, too. He spent most of the ride trying to look too cool to be riding it. Katy seemed mildly pleased at first, and by the end she was so psyched by the whole experience!

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Neither of the kids were interested in the bounce house – I can’t imagine why.

Bounce house

Mim was a little out of it, suffering from a food coma after a long day playing.

Zoney Mim

Zoney Mim

Would I ever get on this? Not on your life.

1000 Nachts

Kidlet turned down the uppy-downy-spinny plane ride, which had charming machine guns mounted on the front and back for each child.

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Kidlet watching the Zipper.

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The last time I ever rode this ride was when I was eleven and had just ingested a large sausage sandwich piled high with fried peppers and onions. I spent the entire ride home staring miserably out the window thinking, “Don’t throw up, don’t throw up,” to myself over and over again.

Zipper

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It was a momentous day – kidlet is finally tall enough to go on rides by himself.

A momentous occasion!

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Lamest. Slide. Ever. Not a single rider was able to make it to the bottom without having to push themselves with their hands. This sucker needed a liberal application of Pledge, stat.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Leonard thought lying down would make things go faster. Wrong.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Bumper cars

Bumper cars

Fishin

I would love to have a job finding and replacing all the burned out light bulbs on carnival rides.

I am so excited that Joy will be here in two weeks. I can’t believe that the last time we saw her, Mim looked like this:

Teh Bebeh gets into stuff.

And now she looks like this:

Mim, cute yet incredulous

The times, they are a-changin’.

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Tha Zippah June 12, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, kidlet, photography.
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I don’t know why but I love taking pictures at carnivals and amusement parks. The tackier, the better. There’s something about having people all around you and the very unique cross-section of society they represent, about the lights and the machinery, the cords running across the ground. The fact that they can set up a facade of a dreamland in a tiny parking lot and then get people to walk round and round in continuous circuits to see everything. It’s seedy and fake and desperate, but at the same time we’re drawn to its twinkle and sparkle even though we know how fake it is.

Well anyway. I edited a bunch of photos from our visit but I need to add tags and captions in Flickr, and I need to write a intelligible entry about it all but it’s too late and I’m too tired so it’ll have to wait.

 

Zipper

 

Kitschy, kitcschy, kitchen. June 1, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in renovations, sewing.
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I’ve been looking at my teensy kitchen forever and wanting to do something, anything to it.  It’s just anything we do will cause a huge amount of upheaval that I haven’t been ready to deal with.  I was thinking, however, of at least replacing the curtains.  I made window curtains a few years ago that I like, but the tiebacks are getting faded from the sun and they’re not exactly what I want and I never finished that set for the door to the extension so I’ve been wanting a change, just not sure what kind of change.

Then I found this Michael Miller fabric and fell head over heels in love with it:

It’s called “Fifties Kitchen”, quite appropriately, and oh my, it is exactly my kind of thing.  Maybe it’s because I have a red KitchenAid mixer, I don’t know, maybe it’s the red clock I thought I was going to hang in my craft room, maybe it’s just that shiny red things and mellow green things are oh so exciting to me, but I got very excited just seeing it.  “Those are my curtains,” I thought to myself.

Then I got to thinking about the project I’ve always wanted to do, which is remove all the upper cabinet doors and paint the inside a color and paint the outside white (thank you, Martha).  I realized that using that green would be *perfect* for such a task, and then I just started thinking and thinking and wheeee!

So here’s the plan – Michael is building a few more shelves into our pantry, then he’s going to take down the cabinet doors and we’ll fill the nail holes.  The outside of all the cabinets will be painted white, and the insides will all be painted green, and we’ll do a similar thing in the pantry.  The cabinet doors left on the bottom cabinets will also be painted green and I’ll probably try to find some different inexpensive hardware.  We’ll peel the wallpaper and paint the walls either white or the same green as the inside of the cabinets.  I’ll hang my red clock in the kitchen, the mixer is already prominently displayed on the counter, and I’m currently stalking red rotary dial wall phones on the off chance I find one in good working condition.  I’m hoping I can score one on eBay or, better, at a yard sale around here.  We had that exact same phone when I was growing up in baby blue.  I loved that thing.

And of course, the curtains!  I poked around online and decided to make cafe curtains with a valance because they’ll be super easy to make and I have everything already except the spring rod, which I can pick up pretty cheap.

On Saturday we were at Lowe’s (I had coupons of course :) and I brought the fabric so I could get paint to match the green and ended up with a hue named Hearty Hosta – while I don’t like hostas I will make an exception in this case.  I got one can of that and one can of brilliant white, both in semi-gloss.  So now I have the fabric and I have the paint.

Not to mention I have this cast iron trivet that was my grandmother’s that reads, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get” – anyone from the Northeast would probably recognize one of these things in an instant, they were really popular in the 60s and 70s.  Everyone had one hanging on the wall with some witty saying about a woman’s work or a man’s uselessness.

This is a pretty big undertaking for we with children and doing it ourselves, so I think I’m going to focus on just getting that much done initially.  Once this is said and done I really want to look at getting the awful countertop replaced, a new not-fugly ceiling light fixture and maybe doing some tiling.  I don’t know, it’s all up in the air right now but I figure one thing at a time.  If we can manage a half-decent kitchen refresh for under $500 I’ll be mighty pleased with myself.

To make sure I had enough fabric I bought five yards, and soon realized that five yards is a LOT.  I’m going to have tons left over to make all sorts of things – an apron, potholders, placemats, a mixer cozy, maybe?  I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from a great website called retro renovation, whose tagline is “Love the house you’re in.”  It seriously makes me miss that apartment I had with avocado bathroom fixtures.