A little something for everyone

I'm looking forward to some time off between Christmas and the New Year. Obviously, I'm excited to ski and run and play with the dogs (that's like saying, "I'm excited to breathe and consume oxygen."), but I'm also looking forward to making progress on my new quilt top, binding my first ever quilt (!), and completing some cross-stitching projects. (Yes, the f-word is always funny. Why do you ask?)

Here's one pattern I won't be completing, though. In fact, I shall now delete my browsing history and never return to this page again.

Till I write again, enjoy this iphone shot of our tiny tree flanked with delightful treats for Brad, the animals, and, perhaps, moi!

Cousin Eddie

We all have a Cousin Eddie.

A socially inappropriate, tight-pants-wearing, slicked-back-hair-having, offensive in every way relative who makes you cringe every time he (or she, I suppose) opens his mouth. Cousin Eddie is loud, embarrassing, and seemingly does things only to drive you batty.

And most of the time, he succeeds.

Not this year, though. Thanks to the helpful PSA below, we can all learn to identify Cousin Eddies before they've reached their full humiliation (of themselves and others) potential. I know I'll be paying close attention to the warning sign:


A bit much


From the terribly British sounding Cox & Cox. 85 pounds is a hefty price for a pillow, though, especially considering my dogs' tendencies to drag pillows about the house so they always have a soft place to lay their furry heads.

Maybe I'll make one. I bought the pattern for this quilt a while ago:

....so perhaps I'll make both, get all my British ya-yas (yes-yesses?) out, and then be done with the Union Jack for a while.

Not (bloody) likely, though, as I am currently carrying a Union Jack wallet, wearing Wolford tights, pulling on my wellies as often as is reasonable, mainlining Earl Grey, and cyber-stalking every British blogger I come across.

I'm having flashbacks to that episode of Arrested Development where Michael starts dating Rita (the MRF) and peppers his Californian vernacular with the Queen's English. Bloody hell.


A sneak preview....

We asked our friend and housemate, the extraordinary photographer Matthew Turley, to take some photos of our pack. We wanted to send our loved ones holiday cards with our photo on them because, well, isn't it obvious? I mean, it's a photo of us! Hello?! Make room on the mantle!

Some of you will receive one of the cards soon, so I'm sorry for ruining the surprise (but really, when I emailed you asking for your address, what did you think would happen?). I know other bloggers suspend the big reveal until their cards have landed, but not me. I can't wait. Patience is for punks.

And anyway, these are the out takes, not the photo we went with for the card, so you'll still be a little bit surprised.

I love this one, because it's a wonderful example of Arnie's earnestness. There's huge activity happening here--people talking, people moving around--but Arnie is saying, as he often does, "Hey, mom, do you want to talk about it? I'm right here if you need me. In the meantime, let's just hold paws." Red is, naturally, very suspicious of the whole thing.

And in this one, you get a great sense of how we spend most of our time. Talking to the animals. We're just like the Doolittles.

And just in case you started to get a little too comfortable, Red is here to remind you that you're on thin ice, pal.


She Likes to Be Different

With all the Mormons here in Utah, the celebration of Christmas is just sort of assumed, and few thoughts are spared for the other celebrations that take place at the end of December.

I’m not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or anything at all. My beliefs are most aligned with Paganism, but as I uphold few of the rituals, I can’t really claim it. Plus, I don’t own a goat.

Despite this, I take offense when people assume that I observe Christmas (I do, but that’s not the point). From Thanksgiving on, I hear “What are you doing for Christmas?” at least once a day, and each time, I stiffen with indignation.

“Celebrating Kwanza,” I replied to my hairstylist.

“Lighting a menorah,” I told the cashier at the Nordstrom Rack. This retort was diluted, though, by my having to explain what a menorah is.

In truth, I’m doing neither. I’m planning to ski, nap by the woodstove, watch movies, and pet the dogs. I’ll send out cards, give (and happily receive) gifts, eat once-a-year treats, and drink lots of wine.

I’ll celebrate the snow and the fairy lights, the longest night of the year and the longer and longer days to come. I’ll observe—at least, according to the Gregorian calendar—the end of one year and the beginning of another.

And I’ll watch this commercial (a favorite since childhood), and congratulate Eat’nPark on its long-running, harmonious holiday greeting. God (and Allah and Kali and Buddha and the clairvoyant goat in the pasture) help me, it still makes me smile.


Oh yeah...

We turned on comment moderation recently, to combat all the bot spam we've been getting. We forgot we did so, though, and all your kind and lovely comments were piling up, unpublished. Please accept our apologies, and know that the problem has been addressed and is unlikely to occur again.

The Editorial Overlords of the Wasatch Report*

*Arnie and Red


Heaven is for Harlots

Because I am in my thirties and no longer exercise upwards of 3 hours a day, I rarely shop at Forever21. Occasionally, though, when I need a dress for a specific do, a little something I’ll probably never wear again, my sartorial sense deserts me, and I find myself drawn to the sounds of pop music and teenage girls fighting with their mothers.

Yesterday was one of those times. With the annual “Dress Like a Trollop” party* on the horizon, I grew anxious, knowing that nothing in my wardrobe of cashmere sweaters, jeans, scarves, and painted clogs would do. Thus I found myself prowling through horrifically merchandised racks of cheap fabric and gauche colors, looking for something a little hipper than a turtleneck sweater dress (the option awaiting me at home).

Surprisingly, I struck gold, in the form of a classy LBD. It was stuffed behind an array of artfully torn, cropped tees declaring “I Love Nerds,” and it was perfect. With cap sleeves, a nipped waist, and a tulip skirt, it was positively Hepburn-esque. The shocking thing was not its ideal silhouette, but its fabric—decent suiting material, and lined. I can’t find it on the Forever21 website, leading me to believe that it came from a far more sophisticated place (J. Crew, Nordstrom, the strip club around the corner) and was left on the rack mistakenly.

I tried it on gingerly, a bit afraid to look in the mirror because fluorescent lighting and junior sizing are nasty critics. But it fit beautifully. I was shocked. I glanced at the price tag ($27.90), and hurried to the cash register to make it officially mine.

On the way home, I congratulated myself on finding a party dress so efficiently (it was the first—and only—one I tried on). I was thrilled, too, that the dress was suitable for work on those rare days when I make an effort to look professional. (Long gone, those halcyon days of running at lunch and not bothering to change out of shorts and trainers for the afternoon.)

After greeting my dogs for the obligatory 10 minutes (cuddle, cuddle, cuddle, snuggle, snuggle, roll over, kick legs, bite the air, repeat), I pulled the dress out of the bag and hung it on a fancy padded hanger (probably worth more than the frock).

That’s when I saw them.

Small black letters on the bottom of the plastic yellow bag: “John 3:16.”


I picked up the bag, sure that I was missing something. This is a store for slappers-in-training. It is not an emporium closely associated with biblical ethics.

Despite the ubiquity of John 3:16 (think sign-holding fanatics at baseball games), I’m a heathen, so I had to Google it. God gave his son because he loved the world, and if you believe this, you’ll go to heaven. Something like that.

Sidenote: look how close heathen is to heaven!

Ok, whatever. But why is Forever21 telling me this? A trip to the store’s website revealed no overt mentions of religion, though the plus-sized line is called Faith21. Being something of a conspiracy theorist, I could probably come up with some subtle references if I cared enough to comb the site, but I don’t care that much.

I’m grateful that we live in a place where people are permitted to express their opinions and beliefs, sneakily or otherwise. It’s the connection, or lack of, that’s giving me pause. If Forever21 wants me to keep the bible in mind, why does it sell the trashiest clothing I’ve ever seen? I’m serious, my LBD aside, this is the go-to store for trampy little harlots in need of something sexy. It’s the perfect spot, actually, for ladies shopping for the annual, “Dress Like A Trollop” fete.

Oh dear. I hope no one else shows up in my dress….

*Not really, but it don’t most corporate holiday parties seem that way?

And why is the turtle in a fez?

But then, if you have to ask....

They're all delightful.


Again with the Etsy

I know. I've become nothing more than an Etsy advertiser. I ask you, though, when the website offers prints such as this one:

Can you blame me?

I mean, come on! He's eating his tie!

Get it here.