31 May 2007

Enter at Platform 9 3/4

I'm so planning a trip to Orlando for winter of 2009! It was announced today that Universal's Islands of Adventure is building a Harry Potter theme park! It actually seems really great, with the actual film set builders, J.K. Rowling, the producers and others working on its creation. They promise no character look-a-likes, but recreations of Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and of course, Hogwarts Castle. Yes, there will be rides...but who knows what that will be? Flying brooms? That'd be cool. The official press release can be found here.

30 May 2007

Summer Getaway #1

Last weekend the kidlet was off playing in the 18th century, so hubby, baby & I went up to Oshkosh (B'gosh!) to visit the Paine estate. It was gorgeous and made you truly feel transported to England rather than Wisconsin. The gardens were lush and lovely, with several different types of landscaping. And the exhibit of costumes was divine! (They didn't allow photos to be taken inside the building or of the costumes, but not one to be detered, I did sneak this photo through a window. Yes, that is Mr. Darcy's evening suit.) There were costumes from Elizabeth, Sense & Sensibility, Onegin, Ever After, Out of Africa, Dangerous Liasons, etc. I was mostly impressed by the fact that most were incorporated with vintage or antique fabrics. Well, I did get some shopping & swimming (and hottub lounging) time in the evening too. Sebastian had his first experience with swimming in a pool (or a "big bath" as I referred to it) and he LOVED it! Monday was off to Fond du Lac (yes, I find that a particular humourous name for a Wisconsin town...I always imagine it as Fondue Loch...Lake of Cheese!) where we visited the Galloway House & village. It was a cute little historical village and a pleasant enough way to pass the afternoon. We drove over to Lake Winnebago, which turns out to be the 2nd largest inland lake in the nation. They have an amazingly awesome park there with everything from bumperboats to a carousel to a petting zoo.

Now, this week is rather slow. I did win a Wisconsin Dells package from one of the radio stations, so we're considering going there for another getaway before the kidlet heads to her father's for the summer. Yeah, it definately seems like summer is here.

26 May 2007

Because it really is all about Meme...

Consider yourself tagged it you're actually reading this. I'm bored (would you believe I accidentally came to work 1 1/2 hours earlier on a Saturday morning than I needed to? If only that meant leaving early...alas, no).

What were you doing 10 years ago?
How sad is it that 10 years ago I was being mom to the kidlet, then 3. Married to the now Ex. In Michigan. And working at the renaissance faire. Things, apparently, don't evolve drastically for me.
What were you doing 1 year ago?
It is actually the one year anniversary of starting my job at the Wustum Museum.
Five snacks you enjoy
1.Ice cream
2. Tortilla chips & salsa
3. brownies
4. Slurpies (mmm...)
5. Funyuns
Five songs that you know all the lyrics to
1. Save a Prayer (Duran Duran) 2. 99 Red Balloons (Nena...english & german versions) 3. We Didn't Start the Fire (Billy Joel) 4. Defying Gravity (Wicked) 5. What do you do with a Drunken Sailor?
Five things you would do if you were a millionaire
1. Pay off ALL of our debt, including the mortgage
2. Buy myself a car
3. Take a cool trip with the family to Europe (and probably bring my best friend's family along)
4. Put money away for the children's educations
5. Buy some gas for the car!
Five bad habits
1. Talking on the cell while driving
2. Not exercising enough
3. Incessant need to check emails & favourite blogs daily
4. Drinking soda
5. Spending money rather than saving
Five things you like doing
1. Being with my family
2. Sex
3. Being with my friends
4. Travelling
5. Acting
Five things you would never wear again
1. bubble skirts
2. neon clothing
3. knickers
4. sequin bustier
5. torn off-the-shoulder sweatshirt
Five favorite toys
1. Fashion Designer
2. Legos
3. Water/pool toys
4. Board games, esp. Clue or Balderdash
5. crayons & colouring books

25 May 2007

Memories...like the corners of my mind

Here's hoping everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend (or Rememberance Day as it was known until sometime in the 1960s).
The kidlet is off to Vincennes in Indiana for Revolutionary War reenactment fun with our friends Jodi & Ray. Tonight hubby & I are going to see Johnny Depp in all his Capt. Jack gloriousness in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Happy Piratey goodness!

On Sunday hubby, baby & I are going to Oshkosh (B'Gosh!) to visit the Paine Art Center, which is a historical estate & gardens who are having a wonderful exhibit on historical costuming in films. Oh darn! I just HATE seeing fabulous mansions, beautiful gardens in full bloom, and lovely historical costumes! (yes, that would be sarcasm...the photo here is one of the costumes on display from "Emma"). Then we'll spend the night so I'll be able to luxuriate in a hottub & indoor pool, before going to see more historical mansions & village on Monday!

Enjoy your weekend, however you choose to spend it!

23 May 2007

Sassy Again

WARNING! *These photos were both taken very early on consecutive mornings, so I look bed in both.* I cut my hairs! Ok, these are really bad photos, but I feel sooo good to be back to my sassy self rather than grown out, can't do anything with it, and damn those baby hormones as I have been pulling clumps of hairs from my head daily. But now...my hairs are short & cute (cuter when they've been brushed, but this is the best you get right now).


21 May 2007

Photos from the weekend

Pieter, Emily, Hannah & Sebastian VanRyen...our 1860s personas.

and some of the other members of the Great Lakes Reenactors Guilde.
And a few of the Civil War generals (Lee, Grant & Custard) with my guys.

18 May 2007

Into the Past

This weekend the family, some friend & I will once again be stepping into the past as we head to Naperville Settlement down in Illinois for the civil war reenactment there. It's a fun time living as someone else for the day, while wearing pretty clothes. Of course, after having a baby & trying to squeeze into my 1860s dress was a trial by force last night. Thank God for corsets...and who really needs to breathe? (I can honestly say I prefer Elizabethan corsets over Victorian ones.) Next weekend the kidlet is going with our friends, The Steeles, to step even further into the past...she'll be reenacting the Revolutionary War at Vincennes,IN. There is something to be said for a 13-year-old who wants to "dedicate her life to historical reenactment". Maybe its a little crazy, but she loves learning the history & really its all about the clothing. (She is her mother's daughter, after all!) If anyone is around these fabulous events, perhaps you'll consider stopping in, visiting us, and learning a little?

16 May 2007

Into the Wild

Spread literacy, free a book into the wild. I've tried to tell people about my favourite way of passing along the gift of reading, but I don't think many have joined in. So, I'm posting about it again today. It's fun, its relatively free, and its that random act of kindness that you put out into the world that, in my opinion, can only reap good karmic rewards.

The way Bookcrossing works is basically this: you go to their website, sign up, and then enter the books you are going to release and then where you're going to leave it. (Very simple.) Then you can purchase their waterproof bags or bookplates (or I think they have some you can just download for free), write the info on the bookplate, stick it inside the book, then leave the book somewhere. Anywhere...a Starbucks, the shopping carts at the grocer, your doctor's office, a park bench...literally anywhere it could potentially be found. (I found my first book stuck on a giant lion statue in a park.) Hopefully someone finds the book goes to the website (as instructed on the bookplate), enters the info and the intent is that they will then read the book, and then do the same thing...releasing it again back "into the wild" for someone else to find, read, & share.

The weather is getting nice, people will be outside more, give someone a book they may never have picked up before...today! It's cool. You should be so cool.

11 May 2007

What Makes You a Mom?

**You too can be a part of the celebration of motherhood over at ParentBloggers today. Check out the fun, and then pop over to Light Iris who has some fabulousness you'll definately want to see.**
I am a mom because I have spent hours holding a baby so he’ll sleep while I go without. I am mom because I have spit up in my hair and on my shirt and I don’t mind. I am mom because I have spent hours holding back my daughter’s long hair while she puked. I am mom because my son has marked his territory…repeatedly…by peeing on me while changing countless diapers. I am mom because I have defended my child to teachers and bullies. I am mom because I hug my children when they’re good and reprimand then when they’re not. I am mom because I’ve survived insufferable heartburn through pregnancy and have the C-section scars & stretch marks to prove it. I am mom because I my clothes are from last season’s clearance rack while my kids’ are brand-spankin’ new. I am mom because my teenager can show me how to use any electronic device moments after purchase. I am mom because I could recite all of the words to countless children’s storybooks by heart. I am mom because I’ve been wounded by the words “You’re the meanest mom in the world” and have sometimes worn that title as a badge of honour. I am mom because I proudly film my child’s school shows with the video camera. I am mom because I play them back with pride. I am mom because I take my children to museums, historical villages and the theatre, as well as to Chuck E. Cheese and the waterparks. I am mom because I’ve served my children Mac ‘n Cheese with Kool-Aid for lunch, but Filet Mignon & asparagus for dinner. I am mom because I’ve ran along side a bike without training wheels. I am mom because my son will know how to cook & clean a toilet. I am mom because my daughter will know how to change a tire on a car and use a drill. I am mom because I’ve gone without food so my child would have something to eat. I am mom because when I hear of a child being shot or molested, I hold my children tight and then teach them how to be aware of the evils of the world. I am mom because I encourage my children to succeed, but let them know that sometimes we all fail. I am mom because I’ve taught my children to love.

10 May 2007

Farewell my friends...talk hard, talk fast

Today is a sad day for me. My favourite TV show is ending & I just found out this morning thanks to Christine. For several years now my family knows that Tuesday nights are mine to share with Lorelai & Rory...the Gilmore Girls. These witty women with their endless pop culture references are like old friends I've witnessed change & grow. They could easily fit in with my real-life group of friends. I've wondered what it would be like to stay at the Dragonfly Inn in Stars Hallow. My daughter had watched the show and views Rory as a bit of a role model and has often said how glad she is that she & I have as close of a relationship as the characters do. And now there are only 2 episodes left before those "friends" are gone forever...with no advance warning of their departure. I'd have a farewell party if only I knew anyone else who watched the show as faithfully as I have. In true Gilmore style I'll wear a black veiled hat on May 15th.

09 May 2007

Mama Lost

Today I'm feeling lost, and anything but a superhero. Stuck somewhere between the me I once was & the me I'd like to be. I can't help but feel that I messed up somewhere along the way & in making the choices I made, totally have made life more difficult for not only myself, but my kids, specifically my daughter. I can't help but feel "if only" and "what if" right now. I haven't a career in the respectable sense, but I'm not wealthy enough to not work. I know what I want, but I don't have the resources to do make it happen the way I want it to happen. People know what I can do, yet no one hires me. Worse, no one recommends me to others to hire. I once identified myself as "writer" and now I'm lucky if I can get a blog written that isn't complete fluff. I once was seen as "creative" now I have an occasional moment of crafty brilliance, but otherwise nada. I once was "philosophical & loved to debate", now my conversations amount to little more than the latest episode of "Oprah". I WANT to be the superhero. I want to make the world great for my kids. I want to take them to see the world, and experience it first hand. I want my daughter to be an exchange student, to learn languages, to see great art, to stand inside the beautiful architecture of Europe, to have a crush on an English boy, to write about the canals & rivers, to smell the French lavender, and taste the strudel. Instead I'm feeling like I can do no more than let her check a book out of the library and hope we return it on time.