Monday, December 22, 2008


I succumbed to pressure from various family and friends to finally get on Facebook. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. A big part of me didn't really want to be found by anyone. Another part of me just thinks, "Who cares?" Someone I never talked to in high school wanted to add me as a friend. I know it wouldn't hurt to add him, but really, why should I? I don't care about what he's doing. I guess people just like to have a lot of friends. I'm secure enough not to add everyone I've ever met. I purge people like I purge old clothes. If I haven't talked to them in a year, they generally get deleted from my email and address book. That being said, there are some former really good post-high school friends with whom I have lost touch and this is really an easy way to catch up. In the real, off-line world it would seem like a big deal to make a phone call and talk about everything that has happened in my life in the last ten years. And I do have plenty of regrets about how many people I have let kind of slip away. So, there, I've talked it out and decided that I am pro-Facebook. But I want to go on record as saying the site is surprisingly nonintuitive. You would think with so many people using it they would figure out a more interesting user-interface.

And if anyone is reading this and is dying to know the outcome of the rain boot issue: they arrived today and it is raining. And it may rain most of the week. So there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Trees

I was just reading some of my favorite blogs and aluminum Christmas trees seem to be a common theme. I love them, but they just seem to make too much of a statement for me. I'm going retro in a whole different way. We always buy a real tree, which my mother never did when I was growing up. I'm sure it's because she was convinced it would dry out and then the lights would start the whole thing afire. I swear you would think someone in my family died a horrible death. Among my mother's biggest fears were me living in an apartment with bars on the windows, a fire starting, and me burning to death because the firemen couldn't get in. Another was us kids wearing scarves while sledding because if they got caught on trees we would get strangled. She is still big on donating blood and coercing people into signing their organ donor cards. But, I digress. My retro Christmas tree came about inadvertently when we (and by "we" I really mean my husband) agreed to let the girls have colored lights on the tree. After that small step away from my notion of what constitutes good taste, I took a giant leap and bought that fat, fuzzy looking garland. The girls and I chose white, because of course it will look like tubes of snow resting on the branches. Indoors. In Southern California.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It's raining here in So Cal. I had to send my mini five year old off to kindergarten in the rain! I know it seems silly, being that I had to walk to school year round in Chicago, from the age of 6. Still, you get used to every day being mild and pleasant when you live here. So there we were, in the drop off lane at 8:20 this morning. When I opened the door the rain blew right in on the three year old, causing much screeching and calls of, "I hate the rain!" (The three year old, Annabelle, has her seat on the curb side of the car, so every morning Ella has to climb over/around her to get out at school. No amount of cajoling will persuade them to switch sides of the car). I popped up Ella's umbrella and watched all 35 pounds of her plod toward the building, with her hood up and her little stick legs lost in the vast openings of her rain boots. There's good reason this blog is called birdy legs. I really need to get a photo of the calves of our family, all together in a row. It's a condition that afflicts every one of us. Even my husband, with his firm, bike riding muscles can't be saved when that calf muscle is propped up on the longest shin bone known to man.

Being that the courtyard between our house and garage is flooding, I did what any sensible person (and by person I mean woman) would do and went on-line and ordered rain boots. My husband, being a man, asked why I didn't just go to Target and get some, so that I'd actually have them when it was raining. But, you see, I am a cheap person who mostly likes non-cheap things. So I prefer to find a great deal on nice boots at Amazon, then add whatever random special they are having. I got Annabelle a pair of $25 rain boots on sale for $15, then a pair of $60 boots on sale for $30 for me. Add to that their special 20% off on two pairs of boots, and free shipping, and I ended up with boots for both of us for $36. Of course the rain will be over when they arrive, and it may not return for two years, but you just never know.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


We have this lovely new babysitter, who happens to not yet be of driving age. Her grandmother lives two doors down from us and has become a good neighborhood friend. The babysitter, however, lives about 25 minutes away from us. This is fine if she happens to be staying with her grandmother. Which was not the case tonight. Tonight her mother dropped her off with the understanding that my husband or I would return her home. Of course it turned out that our dinner party was about five minutes further than her house. So we just drove all the way home, only to have one of us have to turn around and drive right back where we came from. I had volunteered to do this before I knew the location of the dinner party. My husband is infamous for asking me (at the last minute) if I can get a babysitter, and then not knowing the exact time or place of the social event. (Not so incidentally, if I do this to him, even if it is just our closest friends asking us to come by to BBQ "later in the afternoon" he goes ape-shit about my lack of details). So then, being the good southern gentleman that he is, my husband felt like he should really drive her home but wasn't sure if he should. I placed my hand on his knee and said, "I trust you, Garp." He was more worried about what he would talk about for 25 minutes. But now here I am, typing away to no one in particular, while he has to drive around making awkward conversation. So, I guess I win.

time-consuming children

Yesterday I was making more fabric covered notebooks for yet more teachers--I forgot about those lovely and patient women who strive to teach my small children ballet--when it hit me hard that if I do actually work on sewing projects the trade off is that my kids trash the house. Gone is the notion of cleaning up one thing before dragging out ten more. The family room becomes a tornado of toys, most of them in various animal forms. I get the most peace when they sneak into my bedroom. The trade-off there is that all the sheets and blankets get stripped from the California King bed. The one with the cool Danish bed frame that requires heaving up the enormously heavy latex mattress to tuck the sheets back under. It's at times like those that I think to myself, "Wow, I could get a lot more done if these kids weren't around!" Which is quickly followed by the realization that if the kids weren't around I'd probably be at a job that I detested on some level. And after all the only reason I started sewing again was to make Halloween costumes the year before last. (Ella wanted to be a ghost, which seems simple until you realize that you don't actually want your [then] four year old to have a sheet over her head).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

etsy ennui

It's funny to me that I occasionally write on this blog. Funny because no one reads it (and if they did I'd be horrified). There are, of course, ways I could draw some attention to myself, but what would be the point? I'm actually worried that if I ever take blogging seriously people might see these early postings.

I'm really torn about the whole etsy thing. I put stuff on there, under, of course. Sometimes I even sell something. But this is another area where I am really uncommitted. Like with all of the tutus. I enjoyed making the tutus, I think they look great, and girls really love them. But is it my goal to make tutus for a living? Not really. I can't get all wound up about it and promote it like crazy. I just like to make things. Some weeks it's skirts for the girls, some weeks it's tutus. Right now it is pencil rolls and crayon rolls for Christmas gifts. And fabric covers for composition books for teachers. I didn't come up with these ideas on my own and I'm not the first person to love great fabrics or wool felt. So if I make extra and put them on etsy I don't really have the time or energy, or really even the will, to promote them enough to make serious sales. I neglect my children enough while I am doing these projects. And there are just so many sellers on etsy that you really have to work to be seen. It just kind of depresses me. But then there is this stack of tutus mocking me every day.