Sunday, March 25, 2007

Easter @ The City- A Hoppin' Good Time

There are several elements to the Underwater Easter Hunt that I help with. The kids swim/wade in the teach pool to catch the floating eggs. The kids also get a chance to have their picture taken with E.B. It's made into a photo button while they wait. I designed the backdrop and basket where they sit for the pic. The chocolate bunny and 'peeps' are new this year. I love making things that babies will enjoy and squeal over. Makes me squeal, too. I love happy babies.

The Cabbage Patch is a photo op for the parents to take pictures. The 'dirt' is made from burlap bags. Real dirt in a pool filter does not make it happy, nor the Aquatics Supervisor. The cabbages are made from rags soaked in diluted paint and with shadowing added. I have to make all the props a wee bit water resistant, considering the event locale.

The flags across the pool are just the normal orange meet-flags with added yarn greenery and they make dandy 'carrots'.

Snacks are handed out and also carnival games set up, with small prizes given to all contestants. I thought that hungry bunnies might need a snack, too. The game is painted on a sheet of plywood, with holes cut for mouths and I made beanbag carrots out of orange washcloths. The kids toss the carrots through the mouths and the bunbuns are very hoppy.

We have to celebrate the secular version of Easter because of the government sponsorship. I know that Jesus is the Reason for this Season, too. And I am able to slip in art references that point straight to Him. No one, unless they're given the inside scoop, knows about them. I can still honor the One who gave me my talent and my salvation. Most Eggs-cellent, I'd say.

Easter Pics- Carrot Flags and Carrot Toss

Easter Pics- Cabbage Patch

Easter Pics- Photo Button Area

Easter Pics- Photo Button Area Close-up

Easter Sweets

In a previous post, I asked if you could guess what my project was to become as I prepared decorations, for the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt. I am pleased to post the "After" shots, as the finished sweets came out deliciously cute. The 'Peeps' are made of papier-mâchè and chair-cushion foam layered together on a ballon. The bunny is built up on a foam core board, with expandable house foam, chair-cushion foam and, then, sculpted with papier-mâchè. The chocolate is brown Silicone® caulk and the other colors are, as well. All in all, I'm very pleased with the results. Whoa Moma Cottontail! Oh, how I wish those were real chocolate bunny ears, and that I didn't have diabetes...sigh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The 3 Stages of Puppy Love

Stage 1. Brand-spanking new baby, tag still attached.
Stage 2. Baby shows a wee bit of wear- I mean love.
Stage 3. Oh baby. Loved to pieces- literally. And next:

Barucha, the culprit *lover* with her sweet baby-face. Pure contentment.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Almost 2½ Months Old

Morgan is just one big pile of smile. She kicks and squeals upon seeing big bro or sis. And they are most delighted with this show of recognition. They have been helping Mom with the baby chores with no prompting and this always makes for a wonderful arrangement. Sweet babies, all around. So says the besotted great-Auntie who emits a great big aww-sigh, punctuated with a silly crinkled-up nose.


I've been told that a writer must use the first sentence of an article or book as the 'dangling carrot' by which to capture a reader's interest. I started this post five times trying to pen that perfect sentence. As you can see (or not see because you stopped reading) this was the best to be had. You almost got: "This is the first sentence." (groan)

As the title implies, melange is what you will get today. I have so many topics because of the non-writing status I have been in. The first topic will be, in fact, that melange is one of my favorite words. The next puppers of undetermined origin just might get this moniker.

I put out the hummingbird feeders yesterday. It is a bit early here in North Central Texas by about 10-15 days, but I am impatient for The Hummingbird Channel to resume its broadcasting.

A couple of weeks ago, I received my 20 year pin at the Parks Department. Whoohoo!! I may complain, at times, about small unimportant situations and let them bother my head more than I should, but I know am blessed to have my job. I still shake my head in wonderment when I think about being the Park Sign Technician for a city of nearly 200,000 people. Since I was born and raised in Irving- it's kinda the-hometown-girl-makes-good scenario. There are certain times of the year, though, that I delight in going to work. Christmas and Easter are at the top of the list.

The pics are of Easter decorations that I am working on now. (I will post their finished state later, but can you guess what they will be?) They will be used as background decorations at the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt held at the North Lake College Natatorium. Is is sooo cute to watch the little kids splash and dash to get those floating eggs. It is held in the "teach pool" and the children are grouped by ages, so no big kids with the bitty ones. The Easter Bunny is also there and the kids get to sit in his lap for a photo button. I painted the backdrop and made an over-sized basket for them to sit in. It weally does make good pwops for the waskally wabbit pictures.

In February, my lack of control with proper food choices finally caught up with me. My doctor pronounced Type 2 Diabetes for me. Just medication by mouth, along with diet and exercise should put a halt to any further complications. What's that adage: If I knew I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself when I was younger.

OK, Shaun, so you're, now, going to make your own meals and eat more healthy? Let's see...Cooking every morning/night...e-ewe. Or eat the same thing for 2-3 lunch/dinners in a row, by cooking every other day. Becomes boring, and hasn't worked in the past for any extended length of time. And freezing in regular bags allows freezer burn and the quality is poor. None of these choices were particularly 'appetizing', so I purchased the Food Saver V475 system to make healthy TV Dinners, and correctly portioned foods for the freezer.

It's been wonderful for the life change (diet) process I am trying to maintain. It is also good for fast breakfast choices- oatmeal with pear/currant compote tastes mighty fine. Beans and soups frozen into blocks first (in plastic dish), removed and then placed in the meal bags. Voila! Perfect measured portions and it can be boiled or microwaved. I have saved the sectioned plates from the store-bought frozen dinners and use them for my ala Shaungirl meals. The vacuuming process distorts the plates a wee bit, but they spring back and I don't send them through the microwave again. While the food is still frozen, I transfer it to a regular plate and then microwave that. And the special sealing bag can then be re-used for a smaller item.(Each time, the sealing takes another 4" of the bag) I made a large batch of mini-meatloaf portions in cupcake pans. Wowser. These were most excellent and will be a repeat menu item. I think even Rachael Ray would say "Yum-o!".