the house-sitting comes to a close

time's up

Well, my house-sitting stint is nearly up. The mail has been collected. The cats have been fed and petted. The cat boxes are clean and the trash has been taken out. I might take a spin around the kitchen with the steam mop but pretty much everything is done. I’m a little sad my stay at this five star resort is over. I’ve really enjoyed myself here.

guest room art

I got some paintings done in Annalie’s garage art studio. I took the liberty of hanging them in the guest room since those walls were bare and Bethany lets me get away with pretty much anything here—even putting nails in the wall. I might leave them here, I might sell them. I don’t know. The guest room needs some art. But I don’t know. Bethany already has quite a bit of my art here already.

a collection?

Too much maybe?

a little bathroom art

There was this empty frame sitting on the floor in the living room. I’ve noticed it’s been there a while. Bethany probably has plans to put photos in it but hasn’t gotten around to it yet. So I just sort of um… printed out some illos and stuck them in the frame and hung it on an existing nail. She can discard my print out. It’s on cheap copy paper and my toner is running out so it’s not like she’ll be throwing away a masterpiece. I just couldn’t resist, the frame was begging for some art just sitting there all empty like that.

Maybe if Toby and I ever fall down on our luck I can hire myself out as house-sitter/art decorator. I think that would be a pretty good job.

us

So that’s it. This house-sitting stay has been extremely productive. I accomplished all the things I set out to do: some Gocco printing, some pottery painting, some normal painting, visits with family and a trip to Sea World with Toby. I couldn’t really ask for more. Sign me up for next year!

Rapunzel’s Bento Box Birthday Bash

little geisha girl

Rapunzel’s Bento Box Birthday Bash went off with a fantastic bang. It was thrown together on a shoe-string and a prayer but you’d never know it. I don’t know why I find this remarkable since every party my family ever throws is like this and every time I fret about it for nothing. I only bring it up because the party was more amazing to me because I know all the back story.

When I showed up at my mom’s house a few days before the party to help with the preparation, I was filled with fear that they’d never pull it off. Money has been tight, everyone has been super busy and didn’t we just have a big birthday bash last week? I was genuinely worried that Rapunzel might get the shaft this year because really, who in their right mind throws an elaborate party when they are having trouble makings ends meet? My brother has been out of work for three weeks due to a mystery illness. He seems to be fine and has since gone back to work but times are tough when you miss a paycheck or two.

What can I say? Where there is a will, there is a way. Of course it also helps that we have very helpful friends with fantastic homes that are perfect for throwing parties. And by fantastic friends, I mean Bethany of course. We had the party at Bethany’s house because Rapunzel requested some pottery-painting along with an Asian theme for her birthday wishes. Bethany happens to live near our most favorite pottery painting studio and of course she was into the whole idea because she loves painting as much as we do!

painting

gang

The painting went swimmingly as you can see. Everybody got to paint! After about an hour we shuttled the littler ones home. Their attentions spans weren’t quite aligned with some of us other die-hard painters. Thank God for Bethany’s very patient and long-suffering mother who stepped in and offered her day care services while us moms painted for another “forty-five minutes” that turned into an hour or more. I love Bethany’s mom.

bento decorations mosaic

We could have kept the party simple—maybe had some Chinese take-out at the pottery studio and called it a day but you know how my family rolls. Nothing is complete without lots of food, fun games and decorations out the wazoo. I come by my crazy party-planning ways naturally.

My mom and CC had been hoarding away supplies for months. They had take-out boxes filled with candy for goodie bags and some bubbles for prizes My mom made a paper crane mobile to hang from the ceiling and of course her famous flags hung around. I designed the bento box lunch cover but that was really a last minute detail that I whipped up the day before because I felt like I had to do something to contribute.

bento box lunches

My mom came up with the idea for bento box lunches but really it was just a cheaper-ware box with some chopsticks tied onto the top for decoration We didn’t even really have any Asian food inside (besides the sesame seed candy). It was just an easy way to satisfy the kids with their usual peanut butter and jelly and chicken salad for the adults while we painted at the pottery studio. But I think this is a really cool idea if anyone else wants to fly with it, please do!

candy-sushi

After we were done painting, we went back to Bethany’s house and made rice-crispie sushi. It was really fun and tasty! CC had seen the idea a while back on mommyknows.com blog. It was a huge hit. So much better than real raw fish I say.

cottonballgames

We killed some time playing silly cotton ball pick-up games with chopsticks. Some of the kids were really good at this. Others were really frustrated by it.

kissy

Between the painting, the sushi-making, the cotton ball games and then some paper fan making we kept busy. By the end of the day we were ready for the best part: FOOD!

food

CC and my mom went all out. They made broccoli beef, sweet and sour chicken and a chicken and green bean stir-fry. Bethany (who loves a challenge when cooking) even made spring rolls. Everything was delicious. Maybe even more tasty than a real Chinese restaurant.

fancy cake

And of course Bethany made the cake.

wha?

Bethany let Rapunzel and I decorate the cake—which might explain the radio-active colors. Have no fear, this cake does not have a half-life. It was actually quite tasty. The inside was marbled strawberry and chocolate and the frosting was vanilla cream cheese.

wolverine hands

Everything was very colorful. Perfect for a very colorful eleven year old. I wonder what she’ll want next year? Good thing we have a year to rest in between. Or do we? When is the next birthday party anyway? Mine in July? I’m thinking after this crazy month we should take a break. Maybe my birthday party theme will be a-day-at-the-spa. Ha ha.